The Federal Government says it is determined to boost trade and create an enabling environment for businesses in Nigeria.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, made the promise durin her recent a tour of facilities and assets of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
She added that collaboration amongst all maritime agencies of government in terms of information gathering and sharing was key to achieving this.
Saraki stressed the need to sustain the momentum to ensure that Nigeria remained attractive to investors, adding that the ministry was delighted at the steps taken by NIMASA to address the issue of war-risk insurance premium on Nigerian-bound cargoes.
“The most important thing now is that we don’t rest on our oars. The free trade agreement and how it affects Nigeria is our focus. We hope to create an enabling environment to be very attractive and highly competitive when compared to neighboring countries and collaboration amongst all maritime agencies of government in terms of information gathering and sharing,” she said.
Earlier, the Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, had disclosed that the focus of the agency was to sustain its achievements in recent times, adding that the plans were in three categories of short, medium and long term.
He said:“We are very optimistic that the clamour for the removal of war risk insurance premium on Nigerian bound cargos will soon yield positive results. The international community desires sustainability of the war on piracy and maritime crimes in Nigeria. The good thing is that they are part and parcel of our processes and procedures.”
Jamoh also said that NIMASA had strengthened its collaboration with the Nigerian Navy.
Continuing, he said:“We have the Nigeria Joint Industry Working Group where all stakeholders, including the Intertanko, the largest owners of tankers in the world, the Intercargo RGO, the largest owners of cargos in the world and the major oil marketing companies meet regularly to discuss developments in the Nigerian maritime industry. We have also strengthened our collaboration with the Nigerian Navy. The SHADE Gulf of Guinea is another platform where inter regional organisations such as the ICC and the European Union foster collaboration to secure the Gulf of Guinea.”
He added: “Though Nigeria was removed from the red list of piracy nations on 3rd of March this year, it is natural that the international community will desire sustainability. Our hope is that by September this year, the issue of war-risk insurance will be addressed when the Lloyd’s of London, coordinators of insurance surcharges on Nigerian-bound cargoes meet to deliberate on our position paper which highlights the short, medium, and long term plans to sustain the achievements in our war against piracy in Nigeria.”