- Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo (middle), Minister of State for Transportation, Ademola Adewole Adegoroye (left), Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Magdalene Ajani (second left) and others after the meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties, in Abuja…Tuesday
By Anthony Nwachukwu
To enhance the growth of inland waterways transportation and promote ease of business operations, the Federal Government said it will soon harmonise taxes paid by jetty operators to end double taxation.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, disclosed this in Abuja Tuesday during a meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), led by its Chairman, Joseph Ororo.
Sambo noted that operators were often made to pay multiple registration fees by different regulatory agencies, such as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
He commended PSCPJ’s performance in its mandate of licensing jetties and closure of illegal platforms, while advising that its inspections should not be restricted to timelines but include unscheduled visits to jetties to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations.
Earlier, Ororo explained that the committee was created in 2004 to checkmate security breaches, economic sabotage, gun-running and other criminal activities that were traced to private jetties.
The technical sub-committee, he noted, is the expert arm of PSCPJ, and prior to its constitution, there was a directive shutting down all private jetties across the country due to their associated intractable illegalities.
Its terms of reference, according to Ororo, include: “To re-open all jetties deemed vital to the economy as well as examine all the remaining closed jetties and recommend those to be retained and those to remain permanently closed;
“Meet from time to time to consider applications for operating licenses for jetties and recommend those to be issued new licenses by the minister of transportation, who will continue issuance of licenses for jetty operations on the standing committee’s recommendation;
“The minister is to prepare and present a note to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the activities of the standing committee for its information, and also keep the president fully informed on the committee’s work.”
According to Ororo, the sub-committee’s work has contributed immensely to increasing the revenue generation of the various regulatory agencies, as well as bringing about a high level of safety at the respective private jetties.
He noted that following the committee’s performance, other multi-national companies no longer engage jetties that do not possess valid license, just as there is an improved relationship between the companies and their host-communities as a result of the Corporate Social Responsibility projects and jobs provided them.