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Regional maritime bank commences operation in 3 months, Transport Minister assures

Paul Ogbuokiri
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has expressed the hope that within 90 days the Ministry will be able to secure accommodation to enable the take off of the Regional Maritime Development Bank .
The Minister made this known when he received in courtesy the Secretary General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, Dr. Paul Adalikwu at the Ministry.
Sambo said: “When it resumed here, I realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very very short time. Infact 90 days is too long”.
Furthermore, he observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria has not yielded any outcomes, so he will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.
Speaking further, Mu’azu encouraged the Secretary General, to leverage on MOWCA regional bloc to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming member of Category C in International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Speaking earlier, the Secretary General of MOWCA, Dr. Paul Adalikwu,  stated that the idea of a Regional Maritime Development bank (RMDB), was conceived 11 years ago to facilitate single digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them compete favourably with their international counterparts.
Adalikwu noted that so far,  “Eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank. Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it nine countries. One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act”.
Speaking further, he said that the  organogram of RMDB as adopted by the council members had positions of President of the body, Company Secretary and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria while Cameroun is to produce the  Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, adding that other member countries are to provide board members for the Maritime bank.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani,  commended Dr. Adalikwu, on the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November, 2022, where the Secretary General of IMO, Kitlack Lim, will seek to prevail on the 25 member states to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, to enable trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region irrespective of whichever sub-region the  crime was committed.
The meeting had in attendance the Minister of State for Transportation,
Prince Ademola Adewole Adegoroye, Director, Maritime Services, Babatunde Bombata, Deputy Director, Cabotage & Shipping, Rita Zoaka and others.
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