Comrade Umar Omeiza Jimoh [President SSACTAC, NPA]
Comrade Umar Omeiza Jimoh [President SSACTAC, NPA]
There are committees set up by federal government to look at agencies in government and you know that there are some parastatals with about 12 agencies without much to do. It is not a matter of reducing or increasing, but to look at the job and responsibilities of each of the agencies .However ,the question of reducing some of the agencies in the maritime industry will not help the nation, because it is not a matter of taking sweeping decision, we expect the government to have another committee to monitor the Oronsanye- led committee and to call the stakeholders of the affected agencies and take a decisive position that will better the maritime sector which to me is the beauty of democracy.
Comrade Adeleke Sanni [President NPA Branch, MWUN]
I don’t think there is any need to reduce some of the government agencies in the maritime sector, because they have their statutory functions to perform which is relevant to the growth of the nation. If we talk of reduction in government agencies, then we are talking about reduction of workers and when we talk about unemployment in Nigeria we are adding more problems to want we have on ground, so I think that is not the right thing to do for now.
Dr. Babatunde Samuel [Registrar, POTEMAN]
I think they are established for various purposes, the Acts establishing the agencies clearly define their function viz a viz the objectives why they are set up and if their objectives are still in consonance with the modern realities, then my own opinion is that they should still stand on their own and the only thing that we should be streamlining in that regard is how to see the interconnectivity or synergy of these agencies, because most of them are working independently but there is no kind of a centralized point which is the function of the Minister of Transport to be able to see how they will be able to co ordinate the whole parastatals to come under one umbrella body even though they are operating independently.
Mr.Chima Sampson [Registrar NIS]
I am in support of the reduction of agencies in the maritime sector, my reasons are as follows. If you look at the maritime sector in line with the parastatals involved, we have namely NIMASA, NPA, Nigeria Shippers Council and NIWA and as it is, one will look at their roles and functions to know whether they have similarities in terms of carrying out their duties. For instance NIWA and NIMASA have similar roles in terms of inland transport; therefore NIWA can come under NIMASA as a department because we have not really benefitted from NIWA. Nigeria Shippers’ Council role is quite difference; they are there to protect the interest of the importers and exporters, but my concern here is that NIWA and NIMASA have similarities that I think the apex maritime industry can oversee the function of NIWA. For NPA as the land lord of the Nigeria ports they are right on course with their functions.
Comrade John Okpono Aleakhue [Sec Gen, Merchant Navy]
The agencies in the country are just too many therefore government should look into it and proffer solution on how to bring some of these agencies or parastatals with similar roles together, because the overhead cost is very high and as we speak some the parastatals in question do not have work to do they only come to the office in the morning ,close in the evening ,collect salary at the end of the month. Therefore, instead of the high number of agencies in the country ,I think it is better to streamline some of them to fall under major and vibrant agencies as department .
Comrade Akin Leoso [Sec Gen, SSACTAC]
We need to be sincere with ourselves when it comes to issues like this because some the agencies in the industry are truly interlaced, for instance NIMASA and NIWA have similar roles in terms of their functions which I believe, Nigeria Port Authority can handle. But if the agencies are doing the right thing by bringing in good results to the government, then they should stand alone, but I am afraid of a situation whereby if eventually most of the agencies are integrated, then many people will now become jobless.
Otunba Kunle Folarin (Maritime consultant)
I don’t think government is trying to reduce the number of agencies in the port, what I think they want to do is to either merge them or reassign mandates within the partakers because the issues that are covered by each agency will not disappear, they are not going to say that there will be no ports, what they will probably say is that the function of NIWA can be done by NPA because they are the dominant agency in the port, so the functions of each agency will still have to be performed, they might even end up retaining the partakers in the maritime industry and merge other agencies outside the maritime that are performing functions similar to the maritime industry into the maritime industry. A good example of this is NESREA which is under environment ministry merging with NIMASA, so instead of removing some agencies from the sector, what government wants to do is to strengthen them with agencies performing similar functions outside the industry into the industry. But then, government in its wisdom can say that some agencies are purely administrative, for example the Nigerian Shippers’ Council which should be industry- led and private sector- driven, they might give it to chamber of commerce to run, by so doing it is still shipper’s council, but it will no longer be controlled by government. I support the move because over time, there have been overlapping functions among these agencies.
Capt. Patrick Kentebe (Petrostan Nig. Ltd)
If government should make such a move, I don’t think I will support it because the load will be too much, so they should allow the parastatals to operate in order to reduce the overloaded maritime industry. By funding these agencies annually, I don’t think the country is wasting any money because, before any amount is earmarked for a project, government knows why they are giving out such an amount and I believe it is for the industry to grow.
Hon. Green Ekeledo (Maritime Consultant)
I support it, first of all, NIMASA is not involved because it has a legal framework, so whatever merger government is trying to do, they cannot touch NIMASA, but the other agencies in the maritime sector like the Shippers Council, I really don’t know, shippers council has its role but It appears it is diminishing day by day, NPA on its own can remain because somebody has to regulate somebody, so NPA also cannot be touched, MAN, Oron is there on its own so it cannot be merged with any agency. However, I support the move to compress some of the agencies in the maritime sector because many of them are not even supposed to be there in the first place, some of them go and talk to their friends in the National Assembly in order to be MD’S and DG’s even though they are not up to a unit in some other places, so I totally support it, the president has already approved it.
Capt. Thomas Kemeweirigha (President, Merchant Navy Officers Association)
Let the government agencies in the maritime sector be left alone, but their functions should be streamlined, because NPA and NIMASA were created by an Act, their functions are also in their Acts and it is so much that when you merge them together, it cannot be carried out by one single agency, if they have overlapping functions, they should be streamlined and let them be given different areas to handle, they are not even doing what they are suppose to be doing in the first place and that is why we have lapses everywhere, NPA and NIMASA claim to be removing wrecks, but there are still wrecks all over our waters, if you go to Tin Can Port area, there is a heavy wreck around there, so what are they removing? However, I am not in support of merger, the function will be too much for one agency to carry.