Dakuku Peterside: NIMASA targets N109bn revenue in 2018, says ‘Intermodal transport system essential to port efficiency’

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Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says the agency is targeting N109 billion as revenue in 2018.
He said this while speaking on the 2018 budget before the Senate Committee on Marine Transport in Abuja on Thursday.
According to him, the agency was optimistic it will generate N109 billion as revenue in 2018.
Peterside said that the total estimate was achievable based on the number of initiatives the agency had put in place to block revenue leakages.
“N109 billion is an estimate; we are workings toward accomplishing that, this revenue include revenue from Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), that I have no access too.
“It also includes our mandatory contributions to Maritime Academy of Nigeria, which is not in our disposal but we optimistic that with the numbers of initiatives we have put in place.
“We have blocked leakages, we have done everything humanly possible to reduce our expenses to make it achievable,” he said.
He, however, told the committee that every adjustment and amendment had been made on the budget as directed.
The NIMASA boss said that a total of N18.7 billion was remitted in 2017, which was the 80 per cent of the total revenue for 2017.
He said that N2 billion was also contributed to Nigeria Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for the dredging of the lower Niger River, which was approved by the presidency.
Peterside said that in 2018, the agency hopes to complete the reforms it had started by making the waterways safer than it used to be by investing in the security of waterways.
He said that the agency intended to build offices in the eastern zone, central zone and also concentrate on capacity building, by training seafarers and scaling up its operations in 2018.
Meanwhile, Peterside has said that for any country to achieve efficiency at its ports, intermodal transport system is an essential factor to consider.
The D-G, who spoke in Lagos, noted that in order to attract investment to the maritime sector, a seamless transport system is very crucial as there must be a good connection between the road and rail to the ports.
Accordingly, Peterside stated that “taking maritime for instance, if the lands transport system is efficient, vessels idle time in the port will be highly minimized or completely eliminated, thereby reducing the turnaround time of vessels. When the turnaround time is low, the berth occupancy ratio of the port will be high and the port will be more efficient, more competitive and more profitable”  
Speaking further, the NIMASA D-G observed that port congestion is mainly caused by the inability to evacuate imported goods out of the ports, which can be attributed to the inefficiency of land transport connections to the ports.
When the connection is inefficient, the cargo dwell time will increase, thereby causing congestion. The resultant effect of this is that there will be no spaces left to discharge cargoes and offloading from vessels will be stopped, pending evacuation of the already discharged ones. Whenever this happens, vessels will be delayed, the revenue of the port will drop, shippers will incur unnecessary demurrages and the port will become unattractive” Dr. Peterside said.
The D-G who highlighted the impact of intermodal transport to the maritime sector as; improvement on the cargo handling time in the ports, improvement of security in the ports, reduction of damages and losses, ease of transfer to other modes of transport and faster transportation to the final destination amongst others. He noted that it is a greater enabler for multimodal transport system, which is a means of door to door delivery of goods using different modes of transport.
Furthermore, he used the opportunity to assure the international community that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the access roads leading to Nigerian ports are very accessible so that vessels accessing our ports do not exceed their dwell time.
While canvassing for more investment in the Nigerian maritime sector with an assurance of return on investment, he said the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the Federal Government, which has seen Nigeria, moved up from 169th position in 2017 to 145th in 2018 is a step in the right direction intended to bring about more investment opportunities. He noted that it is hopeful that Nigeria will rank higher in the next rating. “We are also engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to create a specialized interest rate for acquisition of assets for our shipowners, aside working towards the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) as this will also give room for a full-fledged Cabotage regime and more job opportunities created”, Dr. Peterside said.
It may be recalled that the Dr. Dakuku Peterside led Management of NIMASA has continued to attract foreign direct investment through continuous partnerships and collaborative initiatives, all geared towards the realization of a robust maritime sector.

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