Govt to institute maritime intervention fund
BY GODWIN ORITSE
THE Federal Government has concluded plans to provide intervention funding for the development of the maritime industry following such intervention to other sectors of the economy.
Speaking to Vanguard in a telephone interview, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole said that the decision was reached at the Presidential maritime retreat held in Abuja last year.
Oyewole disclosed that the report of the retreat was ready and that the President has directed the Economic Monitoring Team to study it and make recommendations that will be brought to him before the funding is made available.
Operators in the maritime industry, particularly the local shipping operators, had protested exclusion of the sector in the provision of intervention fund to different sectors of the economy.
Reacting to the exclusion of the maritime sector, Secretary of the Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Captain Niyi Labinjo said that the government has not shown seriousness to the development of the maritime sector, adding that this has been the same situation with successive governments.
Labinjo noted that over $500million was given to the aviation industry, and $200million given to the entertainment industry while nothing was given the maritime sector.
He stated that the sector was capable of generating five million jobs at any point in time noting that the industry has suffered high level of under development due to the neglect by past government.
He explained that the industry loses more than one trillion naira every year compared to the N100billion lost in the aviation industry.
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