Some freight forwarders on Monday urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to ensure that the Anti-Piracy Bill before the National Assembly becomes a reality.
The freight forwarders made the plea in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
They said that the bill, if passed would among other things, restore the nation’s maritime business-friendly status.
A clearing agent, Mrs Jane Oparaeke, said that it would be a dream comes through to see the nation’s waterways regaining its safety status enjoyed in the early 80s.
She said that with NIMASA at the forefront of the campaign, “there is every hope of the bill scaling the hurdle in the National Assembly’’.
“It is now the duty of other stakeholders to encourage the drive that will make the nation’s ports the hub of maritime in West Africa sub-region,’’ she told NAN.
The Logistics Manager, Red-Line Shipping, Mr Inuwa Omika, said that if the bill is passed, the apprehension by shippers bringing their goods to Nigeria, would be eliminated.
“Passing the bill will go a long way in enabling high inflow of goods into the country,’’ Omika said.
A freight forwarder, Mr Joseph Asika, urged the law enforcement agents in charge of the nation’s water ways to be more proactive.
Asika suggested that the security agencies should be more vigilant to stop piracy and armed robbery at sea.
A Client Services officer at Denca Services Ltd., Mr Stanley Momma, noted that shippers patronising Nigeria’s neighbouring seaports would come back to Nigerian ports “if the conditions become business friendly’’.