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Regional Maritime Bank takes off soon – Shippers’ Council boss

by Business News Report

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Mr Hassan Bello, has said that the Regional Maritime Bank will soon fully take off in Abuja. Bello made the disclosure at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja on Thursday.

Bello said that the Secretary-General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA) recently had a discussion with the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, on how to take the bank off the ground. He said that the feasibility studies for establishing the bank had been done.

“Soon, something positive would come out,’’ Bello told NAN.  The bank will serve 25 countries from Angola to Mauritania in West and Central Africa. The idea to establish the Regional Maritime Bank was mooted at the Bureau of Transport Ministers’ meeting in Angola in 2005 and Nigeria agreed to host the headquarters. The approval for Nigeria to host the headquarters came through the 13th General Assembly of MOWCA in Dakar in July 2008 and it also had the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s approval in February 2009.

There was another resolution of the 14th General Assembly of MOWCA in August 2011 in Kinshasa, which sealed the approval. Since February 2012, stakeholders have called on the Federal Government to provide ‘financial commitment`’ essential for the take-off of the bank. The Chairman, Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Bank, Chief Chris Orode, had said the Federal Government was making efforts to retain the hosting right of the Secretariat of the bank. Orode had told NAN that the Franco-phone countries wanted the headquarters of the bank to be located in entral Africa with Democratic Republic of Congo as possible location.

The maritime expert said that he had brought this to the attention of government.

According to him, Nigeria has the cargo traffic, the population and in a good position to retain the Secretariat the bank in Abuja.


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