The Minister of Transportation, Engr. Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has charged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to live up to its responsibility in the area of revenue generation.
Engr. Sambo made this charge when he toured the facilities of the agency at its Lagos office. He told the agency that he had seen all its activities and programs online but that what was left out is what the agency is doing to generate revenue to the federal government in the last five years.
The minister reiterated the point that NIMASA is a very critical agency of government that should support the government in the area of revenue generation so as to ease the financial burdens of the government.
He said that even though there has been an argument that NIMASA should not be placed with the burden of revenue generation, Nigeria is a developing country and the sources of revenue should be diversified especially now that the oil revenue which is a major source of revenue in Nigeria is declining.
He said “I can find all that NIMASA is doing online, what is left is what this agency is doing in terms of revenue generation. NIMASA is one of the critical government agencies that should support the government in generation of revenue. Yes, there has been an argument that revenue generation is supposed to be a fall out but, ours is a developing country and so, sources of revenue must be diversified. Emphasis must always be made on revenue”.
He pointed out that what all ministers including president Muhammad Buhari at the seat of power in Abuja are doing is to find many ways of generating revenue as the revenue from the oil is dwindling as the days go by.
Making his speech on the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund(CVFF), the minister stated that there is a jinx about the CVFF he would want to break. He said that one of the things he would want to discuss with the management team of NIMASA under the leadership of Dr. Bashir Jamo, is how to break the jinx and disburse the CVFF to deserving Nigerians. He said that the disbursement of the CVFF to qualified Nigerians, would be a legacy his administration would be leaving behind. He reiterated the point that if this fund is disbursed, president Muhammad Buhari, the ministry of transport as well as NIMASA will take the credit.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamo, while making his speech during the tour of the agency’s facilities, reiterated his administration’s readiness take NIMASA to an enviable height. He took out his time to highlight the ongoing initiatives of his administration which include, the deployment of NIMASA Modular Floating Dock, disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund(CVFF), implementation of the Blue Economy Roadmap, establishment of Foundry, offshore reception of facilities, the Deep Blue Project Sustainability Plan, the Purchase of Pollution Control and Prevention Vessels, amongst others.
While reacting to some of the issues raised by the Minister of Transportation, especially on revenue generation, the Director-General, promised the minister that the agency would do anything possible within its powers to continue to generate funds for government by improving on its revenue generation schemes.
Dr Jamoh also stated that in the area of capacity building, the agency had trained more than 2000(two thousand) Nigerians and most of them are working in the Nigeria Liquidified Natural Gases(NLNG) vessels while some others are working with different international maritime agencies.
On the achievements of the agency, Dr. Jamoh stated that the agency has succeeded in reducing levies paid on newly purchased vessels to 0% and 1% for vessels between 1 to 2 years in Nigeria