PCCN partners UNILAG to review maritime laws

Joy Onuorah
Joy Onuorah

The Port Consultative Council of Nigeria and the University of Lagos, have started working to evaluate conflicting statutes creating several maritime institutions in Nigeria in an effort to foster cooperation among maritime institutions.

The Chairman of the Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, remarked that there are conflicting laws establishing some agencies in Nigeria that need to be reviewed so that these agencies do not usurp the activities of each other while speaking at a book presentation by PCCN to the administration of the University.

He stated: “There are conflicts in the laws. If you take the Nigerian Shippers’ Council Act with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA’s Act, you will see the conflicting areas and we know why that happened but that is not for today.

“Secondly, the world is moving on; are we indeed careful of climate change; are we thinking of the flooding in the port areas; have you noticed that the city has grown into the ports creating congestion and gridlock at the port corridor.”

In response, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, vice chancellor of the University of Lagos, told Vanguard Maritime Report that the university is prepared to work with the PCCN on the review of the laws establishing maritime agencies and institutions throughout the nation and that a committee will soon be established for that purpose.

Ogundipe further mentioned that the university system operates on a committee basis and guaranteed the maritime sector that the organization will provide all necessary assistance to examine these laws in order to build a robust sector.

The University was already working with several government organizations to domesticate their training needs domestically, he added, adding that most of the time, government would turn abroad rather than inside.

According to the PCCN boss, the marine sector in Nigeria has the potential to generate N77 trillion in revenue.

In an interview with Vanguard Maritime Report, Folarin stated that the UNILAG must focus on research that will provide these chances for the Nigerian maritime industry. The interview took place during the presentation of books and other academic materials to the UNILAG management.

He used the example of the Philippines as a nation without natural resources that nonetheless managed to develop a supportive maritime sector and export such goods to other countries.

In his words: “I was at the Ministry of overseas employment in Manila where they say they generate $15billion for homes remittances from their workers outside. What did Philippines do, they created 54 Collages of maritime education and tried to train their people in maritime and export them to the world.

“Today, 60 percent of all the ratings on the ships in the world are manned by Philippinos, that is employment. Empowerment because those who created the schools have been empowered, looks at the entrepreneurship and therefore they were able to be empowered to take advantage of the economic possibilities created by the maritime domain in their country.”

He maintained that Nigeria has the potential to develop ancillary industries inside its marine sector in addition to exporting maritime services to the rest of the world.

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