The Federal Ministry of Transportation, has disapproved the proposed amendment of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), act, 2007, to provides 12 percent of the agency’s revenue to the Nigerian Maritime University, (NMU), Okerenkoko, Delta state.
The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi,disclosed this at the public hearing, on the amendment of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) act,2007; amendment of the Inland and Coastal Shipping Act and the repeal of Merchant Shipping Act, 2017, by the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration headed by Hon. Linda Ikpeazu.
Amaechi said the ministry kicked against the 12 percent NIMASA revenue, because the institution, like every other Universities, have access to fund appropriated by the National Assembly on an annual basis.
The minister who was represented by director, Legal Service of the ministry, Paul Oteh, said, “The ministry does not support this amendment as the proposal is not only excessive, but, equally not cognizant of the diverse other responsibilities of NIMASA, which require the deployment of its revenues in an increasingly challenging fiscal environment.
“The proposal, in our view, also does not recognise the fact that the university, like other public institutions under the supervision of the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education, is ordinarily entitled to public funds as may be appropriated by the National Assembly on an annual basis.”
The minister, however, stated that the bill will ensure that NIMASA becomes a more efficient and responsive regulatory agency able to better discharge its responsibilities within the domestic regulatory space.
He also disclosed that the ministry supports the retention of the roles and powers of the minister to grant waivers and other responsibilities.
He said, “The Ministry notes and supports the retention of the roles and powers of the Minister under Sections 9, 10, 11 and 14 among others in relation to the granting of waivers, among other responsibilities.
While it is desirable to ease the regulatory process through the apparent delegation of some ministerial functions to the Agency, it is posited that the present provisions in the Act, suffice to provide a healthy balance between administrative discretion and political support.
“I am to also state that the intendment of the CVFF was to make it an independent fund free as much as possible, from the rigours of government bureaucracy in order to make it easily accessible to eligible contributors to the Fund.
“The Ministry will therefore support the retention of the present Section 44 of the act to enable le the funds to e deposited in commercial ajks, rather than the central and as proposed in the present bill and administered under guidelines that shall be proposed by the minister and approved by the National Assembly.”