Against the backdrop of the expectation of the passage of the National Transport bill by the National Assembly which among other things seek the establishment of the National Transport Commission, the Shippers’ Association of Lagos State (SALS) has said that the proposed Commission would be incomplete without a national carrier.
Speaking in Lagos recently, the President of SALS, Rev. Jonathan Nicol stated that the pride of the Commission would be when the nation procures fleet of vessels that would fly the Nigerian Flag.
Nicol said that while underscoring the need for a fleet of Nigerian flagged ocean going vessels, it would be a bigger success if Nigerian vessels carried the nation’s cargoes as was the case in the past calling on the federal government to brace up to join the European West Africa Trade Agreement Club to protect the Nigerian fleets.
He said,” the National Transport Commission is being expected to manifest soon but the Commission’s pride will be when Nigeria acquires fleets of vessels flying Nigerian Flag. Then, it will be a huge success if our vessels carry our cargo as it used to be in the good old days”.
“Without acquiring ocean-going vessels, the Commission will be incomplete. In addition to that, Nigerians should be encouraged to buy vessels and maintain them adequately. Dry dock terminals should be constructed in Lagos, Warri, Port-Harcourt and Calabar Ports”.
“The Federal government should brace up to join the European West Africa Trade Agreement Club to protect our fleet. We have the manpower to achieve this, we have the potentials to get there and we should”.
“Change is constant therefore, change must be prevalent in the maritime sector from time to time. We have made mistakes in the past, the few individuals that are benefiting from its current state of insanity should have a rethink and change”.