By Chiazo Ogbolu
Lagos, Sept. 15, 2020 Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on Tuesday said that having a Regional Maritime Development Bank would help develop African economy.
Amaechi disclosed this when he declared-open the meeting of Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project and Interim Board of Directors in Lagos.
He noted that Nigeria would proceed with the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project if only two-third of member states accepted the decision reached by the MOWCA.
Recall that the member countries of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa identified major deficit in the development of indigenous participation in the regional maritime sector and associated value chain.
They had, via a resolution at an annual general session, 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.
The Federal Government of Nigeria via the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualisation.
According to Amaechi, any decision reached at the end of the meeting will not be taken to President Muhammadu Buhari until other member states indicated interest in writing to be part of the project which will develop the maritime sector in Africa.
“Whatever decision we reach here is subject to approval and confirmation of every member state in writing. I will not convene whatever decision reached here to the President until I have the binding of two-third of the members organisation.
“This is 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?
“And that is not the intention, the intention is to establish a maritime bank that cuts across West Africa and Central Africa.
“Nigeria is going to sign for being part of that meeting and we are willing to make our contributions but we will not make those contributions until the two-third of the member states have accepted the decision and have agreed on a timeline which they will make their contributions,” he said.
He added that he was willing to participate, but they could not have just six countries passing a law on behalf of over 20 countries in the region