The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has said that the Regional Maritime Bank will commence operation within the next 90 days.
“I realised immediately on my resumption that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very short time. In fact, 90 days is too long” noted the minister at a meeting with the Secretary-General, Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa, (MOWCA) Paul Adalikwu, assuring that the ministry would secure accommodation to enable the take-off of the bank.
The idea of a Regional Maritime Development bank, RMDB, was conceived 11 years ago to facilitate single-digit interest loans to provide leeway to key players in the sector and enable them to compete favourably with their international counterparts.
Already, eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank while the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), two weeks ago also signed making it the ninth country. One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act.
He observed that all efforts towards getting accommodation via the Central Bank of Nigeria have not yielded any outcomes, so he will approach the Attorney General of the Federation to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.
Mu’azu encouraged the Secretary-General, to leverage MOWCA as a regional to push for Nigeria’s intent of becoming a member of Category C in the International Maritime Organization, IMO.
Adalikwu stated that the organogram of RMDB as adopted by council members had positions of President of the body, Company Secretary, and a seat on the board ceded to Nigeria while Cameroun is to produce the Vice President 1, and Ivory Coast, Vice President 2, adding that other members countries are to provide board members for the Maritime bank.
The maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa had identified a major deficit in the development of indigenous participation in the regional maritime sector and associated value chain, and they had, via a resolution at an annual general session, agreed to establish a maritime bank focused on the growth and development in West and Central Africa with a view to raising debt and equity capital of $850 million and $150 million, respectively.
The Federal Government of Nigeria via the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualisation.