By Christiana Ekpa
The House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill for an act to establish Nigerian Maritime Security Trust Fund through second reading.
The bill when pass into law, seek to provide for the establishment of a special fund for training and retraining of naval personnel for optimum productivity, as well as funding for equipment and machineries that will aid the seamless protection of waterways by the Nigerian Navy,
Leading debate on the bill, the sponsor Hon. Yusuf Adamu Gagdi, who also Chairs the House Committee on Navy, said the general principle of the bill was to provide for the establishment of a special fund for training and retraining of naval personnel for optimum productivity.
He added that the bill will provide funding for equipment and machineries that will aid the seamless protection of our waterways by the Nigerian Navy, thereby guaranteeing a robust economic development of the country.
Gagdi maintained that since the mainstay of Nigerian economy (oil) is majorly sourced and moved through the waterways, while the largest chunk of our import and export of other goods are carried out through the seas,
it was imperative that the Nigerian Navy is sufficiently equipped and routinely trained to curb the excesses of pirates, oil bunkerers and other illegal activities on our waterways that hamper our economic development.
The bill was first read on 15th March, 2021 and seeks to exist for 8 years from the commencement date of the Act, (when finally passed by the National Assembly and assented to by Mr President), unless it is further extended by an Act of the National Assembly.
The glowing contributions to the debate by the members underscores the importance of the bill to the economic development of Nigeria and our national security.
The Lawmakers who contributed to the bill urge the House to pass the bill into law without any delay.