Regional Maritime Bank to Commence Operations Soon

September 2, 2022
Regional Maritime Bank

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Federal Government of Nigeria has concluded plans to commence the operation of the Regional Maritime Development Bank in the next three months (90 days).

This is part of a bid to increase the African Continental fleet and encourage intra-African trading.

Recall that the headquarters and headship of the Regional Maritime Bank has also been ceded to Nigeria.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, while hosting the Secretary-General of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Mr Paul Adalikwu, said at the Ministry was hopeful that the bank will start operations soon, noting that efforts are being made to make this a reality.

According to Mr Mu’azu, “When I resumed here, I realised immediately that the Regional Maritime Bank is one of the lowest hanging fruits that we can achieve within a very very short time. In fact, 90 days is too long”.

Mr Muazu explained that all efforts to get the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to assist with office accommodation for the regional bank have not yielded any outcomes, so he will approach the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) to see if one of the forfeited properties can be allocated to the bank.

He also 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).

Speaking earlier, Mr Adalikwu stated that 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.

According to Mr Adalikwu, “Eight countries have signed the Charter as required in the document establishing the bank. Two weeks ago, DRC Congo also signed making it 9 countries. One above the threshold required for the establishment of the Act”.

The MOWCA Scribe informed 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.

Similarly, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Magdalene Ajani, commended Mr Adalikwu, on the forthcoming regional meeting scheduled for Abuja in November 2022, where the Secretary General of IMO, Mr Kitlack Lim, will seek to prevail on the 25-member States to adopt the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act. This will enable the trial of piracy cases within the MOWCA sub-region irrespective of whichever sub-region the crime was committed.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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