Infighting, Rivalries in MDAs Stifle Maritime Industry Growth

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Fresh facts have emerged that the infighting and rivalries among ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have continued to stifle sustainable growth in the maritime industry.

Poor implementation and in some cases, outright neglect, have dogged several government policies and programmes over the years.

THISDAY checks revealed that the infighting and rivalries is not limited to the ministries alone as parasatals under the same ministry are also embroiled in cut throat competition for relevance and attention of the government and the public.

Stakeholders in the maritime industry have averred have that inter-agency collaboration and co-operation will attract more investments and experience sustainable growth rather than see themselves as organisations trying to outdo one another to get public accolade or government commendation.

For instance, in the Federal Ministry of Transportation under the watch of Right Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, there are many issues the parasatals such as the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron are not on the same page.

These include the national single window for cargo clearance, wrecks and derelicts removal, port regulation, levies and revenue collection in the nation’s seaports, airports and international land borders. For instance, it is an open secret that NPA had wanted to be the economic regulator of the port ahead of the Federal Government choice of NSC just as NIWA has not hidden its desire to be the government agency that will be responsible for the award of contracts to remove wrecks and derelicts in Nigeria territorial waters.

NIWA is not alone in the supremacy contest and the big fight to award mega contract for the removal of wrecks and derelicts. NPA is interested just as NIMASA. Behind the open smiles and laughter among helmsmen of the parasatals in Federal Ministry of Transportation is a battle for who gets what, how and when. It is also about which organisation gets commendation and attention of the government at the centre and the public.

This is one of the reasons why stakeholders have called for the passing into law of the National Transport Commission (NTC) bill that has been lying in the National Assembly since the sixth assembly in order to address some of these uncoordinated regulatory framework and interagency rivalry among the parasatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

They averred that this is the only way to tackle the conflicts of interests, infighting and rivalries that have helped in no small way to stifle the sustainable growth of the maritime industry over the years.