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Despite the capacity constraints of the Central Bank of Nigeria to initiate the take-off of the decade old Regional Maritime Development Bank concept, Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has pledged his resolve to explore all resources to ensure the take-off of ‘one of the lowest hanging fruits’ in his ministry, hopefully, within 90 days. The minister disclosed when he received Dr Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa in courtesy at the Ministry.

Mu’azu said ‘the Regional Maritime Development Bank, RMDB, is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very very short time’, and will propose to the Attorney General of the Federation to allocate one of the forfeited bank properties to accommodate the RMDB for take-off.

The RMDB is aimed at facilitating single digit interest loans to position key players for quality global relevance.

Dr. Paul Adalikwu, Secretary General of MOWCA, informed the minister that already, “8 countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank,’ and the latest signature two weeks ago, by the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC has pushed up to 9 countries, one threshold above the requirement ‘for the establishment of the Act’.

The RMDB board as ceded positions of President, Company Secretary and a seat to Nigeria while Cameroun will produce Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, adding that other members countries will provide board members for the Maritime bank.

Regional Maritime Development Bank To Take-Off Within 3 Months – Sambo Mu’azu
Regional Maritime Development Bank To Take-Off Within 3 Months – Sambo Mu’azu

Speaking further, Mu’azu encouraged the Secretary General to leverage on MOWCA to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming member of Category C in International Maritime Organization, (IMO)

Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, while speaking, on the forthcoming regional meeting slated for November, 2022 in Abuja, implored MOWCA to take advantage of the attendance of Kitlack Lim, Secretary General of IMO, to prevail on the 25 member States to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, to try piracy cases no matter where the crime is committed within the MOWCA sub-region.

Prince Ademola Adewole Adegoroye, the Minister of State for Transportation; Babatunde Bombata, Director, Maritime Services; Rita Zoaka, Deputy Director, Cabotage & Shipping and others were also at the meeting.

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