FG Outlines Procedures for Regional Maritime Development Bank Project

Rotimi Amaechi

By Kasim Sumaina

The federal government has said Nigeria will proceed with the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project if only two-thirds of member states accept the decision reached by the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA).

Amaechi disclosed this when he declared-open the meeting of MOWCA Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project and Interim Board of Directors in Lagos, recently.

The minister in a statement noted that member countries of the MOWCA having identified the major deficit in the development of indigenous participation in the regional maritime sector and associated value chain, agreed to establish a maritime bank focused on the growth and development in West and Central Africa with a view to raising debt and equity capital of $850 million and $150 million respectively.

He revealed that the organisation had via a resolution at a regional maritime development bank’s annual general session said the intention was to establish a maritime bank that cuts across West Africa and Central Africa.

He explained that the federal government through the ministry of transportation was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualisation.

According to Amaechi, “Nigeria is going to sign to be part of that meeting and we are willing to make our contributions, but we will not make those contributions until the two-thirds of the member states have accepted the decision and have agreed on a timeline which they will make their contributions.”

He said: “Whatever decision we reach here is subject to approval and confirmation of every member states in writing. I will not convene whatever decision reached here to the President until I have the binding of two-thirds of the member organisation because if we take it to the President and the President approves and every other person backs out, are we going to establish a maritime bank of Nigeria?

“Any decision reached at the end of the meeting won’t be taken to Mr. President until other member states indicate interest in writing to be part of the project which would develop the maritime sector in Africa.”

He added: “I’m willing to participate, we can’t have just six countries passing a law on behalf of over 20 countries in the region.”