The Minister for Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has said that the ministry is concluding plans to acquire a national carrier.
He said a vessel would soon be named as the national carrier to afford cadets sea time knowledge in their chosen fields.
Also, the minister has called for a performance audit of the maritime sector, saying the audit would appraise the individual contribution of processes to the sector; unveil what is wrong in the system and reveal all other inputs into the sector.
He added that if there is a need to consult auditors from the private sector that would be done.
He said: “How is it that nobody recognises the contribution of the maritime sector, what is wrong? Something is wrong.”
He subsequently disclosed that he would not disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF that is a revolving fund set up to assist indigenous ship owners in the acquisition of vessels.
Amaechi stated these at the recent Maritime Technical Summit organised by the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) in Lagos. The summit themed: “The Challenges of the Maritime Transport Industry in Nigeria,” addressed the need for a holistic review of the Nigerian maritime human capacity development.
The President of the AMES Mr. Charles Uwadia, in his welcome address, said the present failure in the maritime sector is due to the lack of in-depth technical input in maritime polices and their implementation in line with international best practices and realities.
Uwadia said: “The decline in standard, quality and profitability of the ships of Nigerian flag can be traced to their poor technical standards occasioned by the owner’s reluctance to comply with national and international standards and regulations.”
He stressed that it is in consideration of these challenges that the association has risen to move the strategic maritime industry forward.
AMES is a body of engineers with class1 certificate of competency (Foreign Going), who have served on foreign going vessels as chief engineers, class surveyors, independent surveyors ship building and ship repair yards engineering superintendents and various strategic professionals in the maritime sector.
The association has members who are technical professionals trained in maritime operations, management and technical policy formulation, as well as maritime technical regulations compliance and verification. The membership of the group cut across leading international classification societies such as Lloyds Register, American Bureau of Shipping and the United Kingdom Maritime Coastal Agency.