I will tell you something, the immediate past National Assembly spent all their days in fighting and on political intrigues and pressure, so they couldn’t do much. So we are expecting that maybe now, the pressure will douse. You know there was too much opposition in the last assembly, impeachment saga and all that, we all saw how the National Assembly was designated but those are gone now. In fairness they have done it right this time around, so we expect that they settle down for business.
Frank Ukor (AREFFN)
We are not going to expect anything good from this 9th assembly, nothing positive. You go to the House of Representative; there are lots of things there, so we are not expecting anything meaningful from them. The National Assembly will become an extension of the executive arm of the government, it will become an office in the President’s office, because they are not going to say anything outside what the ‘villa’ wants.
Barrister Emmanuel Nwagbara
My expectations would be that officers of the National Assembly that will chair committees on maritime and maritime business should be headed by persons who are knowledgeable in maritime business and affairs, because, it is only knowledgeable person that can provide direction to government on requirements for the development of the maritime industry in Nigeria. So we expect that the National Assembly should not be politics as usual during nominations for committees that should head; not just maritime, but in all.
Dr Segun Musa
First and foremost, they need to know that the major problems in the maritime sector is lack of policy, the maritime sector does not have a policy that guides, the maritime sector is just operating under a normal phenomenon, the only solution to this sector is that there must be a policy that will can continuously appraise the performance to address most of the challenges.We have so many regulations here and there and most especially those regulations are conflicting with each other and that has been the major challenge we have in the industry, and when we continue to have this conflicting regulations, there will be a major problem in the sector.So the Ninth Assembly, have a critical role to play number one in ensuring that all those bills that are awaiting passage are expedited in such a way that it will address most of the areas that needs to be addressThey must also sit down to define a workable policy that will help the maritime industry.
I think it is CRFFN that have our concern and the bill is before the National Assembly, I will thank God that the bill did not scale through because somehow we were not very comfortable, and the reason been that we were in court as to whether CRFFN is an agency of the government or not and at the Federal High Court it was pronounced that CRFFN is an agency of the government, then we sense some level of injustice, because you cannot say CRFFN is an agency of the government when members of the council were elected, it is not the government that appoint the council members, government only appoints the representatives from the six geo political zones. So I believe the Ninth Assembly cannot just endorse it as an agency of the government, they will look into the matter, meanwhile our appeal is being resuscitated.
Capt Tajudeen Alao
For the Ninth Assembly as it concern the maritime industry, I believe the committee on maritime should not be appointed arbitrarily, they should have few members who have knowledge of the maritime industry among them, the idea of committee getting consultant from outside some of these consultant only package their Curriculum Vitae and they mislead them, but if you have some of them who are practitioners who have a bit of experience they will know where to check for information in other to confirm what the consultant had told them.So, this is what we see from the output of the past assembly, where they enact laws where there are conflicting interest among agency, where we see the same duty given to two or three agencies, so in other to avoid this conflict, we need to have among the members those who have maritime background, they may not be knowledgeable that much, but they will know who to call when need arises.Two, in other to get proper feedback, they must know the agency to contract, and majorly most of the things they do there are private bills, so they need guidance from the industry.When it comes to the bills, I think the National Transport Commission Bill should be passed and this is my view on that.
Our expectation is that the maritime industry will do better under the Ninth Assembly. I can tell you boldly that in the Eight Assembly (both in the Reps and the Senate), not much was done as far as the maritime industry is concern.Let's ask ourselves how many bills were passed on issues concerning the industry, and again you will discover that the Eight Assembly seems not to recognize professionalism as the prime movers of the economy.So many times the government talks about our crude oil, simply because government has not taken time to study and harness the resources in the sea, if the government can harness this opportunity the maritime industry will be a bigger source of revenue for the government.