| Code: 74376 |

TIN news:   Nigerian ship owners have expressed dissatisfaction for being shielded from meeting the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, saying it was a ploy to cover the rot in the maritime sector.
The minister was on a two-day maiden visit to Lagos ports and maritime agencies on Monday and Tuesday.
A statement made available to journalists on Thursday in Lagos by the director-general, Nigeria Shipowners Association (NISA), Engr. Nnajiuno Ogbuagu, said: “It is likely that some persons in some agencies did not want us in the picture of the visit.”
Ogbuagu said the reasons for being shielded from the visit might not be unconnected with what the shipowners might say about the endemic and protracted rot in the maritime sector.
He said: “It is typical of a flagrant abuse of office, as well as failure, refusal and neglect to enforce extant maritime laws in Nigeria,”
“We welcome the Minister of Transport, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, to Lagos on his first official visit to all the maritime agencies under the Transport Ministry located in Lagos.
“However, we feel that as major maritime industry stakeholders, we should have been informed of the visit, and better still, invited to meet the minister.
“We suspect that the minister is not responsible for this lapse.
“These attitudes, over the years, have kept the maritime industry under-developed, and indigenous shipping in disarray.
“There certainly cannot be any maritime agency without the shipowners. Maritime agencies and critical stakeholders such as the shipowners are like the two wings of a bird; none can function effectively without the other,” the director-general said.

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