Work is now completed on the much awaited new Port Act Bill, 2009, even as indications emerged that the House of Representatives committee on marine transport may have struck a consensus among stakeholders, including government agencies.
Even though attempts to have an insight into what the lawmakers have come up with was unsuccessful, our correspondent however confirmed that the all-important bill will finally be laid before members of the House of Representatives in the next two weeks.
Sources close to the committee hinted Shipping Position Weekly that sharp differences existed between members of the shipping community and the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and that these differences were responsible for the delay.
While the BPE is insisting on having a multi-sectoral agency to superintend all the modes of transport, maritime industry stakeholders have consistently argued for a maritime industry-centred regulatory agency.
Our source however hinted that what the lawmakers have come up with is a middle of the way approach to the various contentious issues and that the lawmakers were in the last lap of consultations with stakeholders.
Contacted for confirmation on the extent of work that has so far been carried out on the bill, chairman of the committee, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who was reluctant to comment however disclosed that the committee has almost completed work on the bill.
“We will soon table it at plenary, and once that is done, its no longer ours but a document of the House of Representatives, we want to be sure that the final work is fool proof, because if it is not properly packaged, one voice in the House can shoot it down”, he stressed, even as he expressed acknowledgement that stakeholders are eagerly awaiting the new law.