Nigeria will join other West African countries to establish a maritime development bank focused on transformation and expansion in the region in a bid to raise $850 million debt and equity capital, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said on Monday.
The same model is also being proposed for Central Africa with $150 million capital in view.
However, Mr Amaechi said Nigeria would only proceed with the project provided up to two-third of member countries agree with the resolution of the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA).
A statement released in Abuja by Taiye Elebiyo-Edwin, an aide of the minister said Amaechi made the declaration at the meeting of MOWCA Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project and Interim Board of Directors.
It further noted that members of MOWCA had observed a local content development gap in the regional maritime sector as well as its value chain.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria via the Federal Ministry of Transportation was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualisation,” the document said.
Amaechi said, any resolution reached at the end of the conference would not be presented to the president until member states formally express their interest to be part of the project in writing.
“I will not convey whatever decision reached here to the President until I have the buy-in of two-third of the member organisations.
“This is because if we take it to the President and the President approves and every other person backs out, are we going to establish a maritime bank of Nigeria?
“And that is not the intention. The intention is to establish a maritime bank that cuts across West Africa and Central Africa,” he said.
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