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CITN Associates With NIMASA Describing It As Pivotal To The Nation’s Economic Development

By Stephen Ubanna

Dame Gladys  Olajumoke  Simplice, President and Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigria, CTN, is a happy woman. Simplice source of happiness is the Institute’s association  with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, under the lose watch of Bashir Jamoh,  who over the last eight months of assumption of office had taken the maritime regulatory agency to a new height.

Speaking at the Institute’s recent  22nd  Annual   Tax Conference  which had centered on the broader role of Taxation  as an essential tool for  economic growth and effectiveness, Dame Simplice, who could not hide her feelings had described the Jamoh led NIMASA, as ‘’pivotal  in the country’s attempt ‘’to fast- track Tax revenue as a prime source of government Finance  in economic development  drive’’.  

  An elated CITN President  was said to have Commended Jamoh and his Team  of resourceful staff for their Commitment  to the development  of the nation’s maritime industry  through the promotion  of the government’s  ease of doing business   initiative at the ports  and expansion of infrastructure.

Acquainted with the fact that the Federal ministry of Transportation agency is saddled  with the responsibility  of regulating shipping business in the nation’s maritime sector,  creating the enabling environment  to simplify  taxes on businesses to attract Foreign Direct Investment, FID,  and revenue generation for the government, she insists that ‘’NIMASA , is the key to national progress’’.

Given an insight into the importance of  marine tourism  and water transportation she was said to have called  on the maritime agency to initiate and develop measures  to develop them.   The  CITN  President  may have challenged the Jamoh led NIMASA  Management ‘’to take it as a point of duty to regulate  the tourism aspect   of Nigerian maritime sector, encourage indigenous shipping  and financially empower Nigerians   to develop their cargo businesses.

According to her, this will go a long way to  automatically  speed up  the country’s local and Foreign cargo exports  through the sea.  She may have gladdened the heart of Jamoh, the NMASA  Director General when she urged  the agency to bring   water tourisminto focus,  in Nigeria, described as  one of Africa’s largest economies in Africa.

Perhaps, what may have enthused the CITN President  with the Jamoh led Maritime regulatory agency  was the successful fight against  piracy  and other Criminal activities in  the Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, to ensure the  free sailing  of ocean cargo vessels into the Nigerian ports  without harassment.

 She noted that the partnership between the agency and the Nigerian Navy, under the close watch of Ibok  Ekwe-Ibas, a Vice Admiral, over the years was a  welcome development, as it  had made the anti-piracy war, a  huge success.

 This is evident going  by the  number of Pirates  that had been arrested  and vessels  with their Crew members that had been  rescued in the recent time by the Navy and handed over to NIMASA  in the spirit of inter-agency relationship.

Recall that in May, 2020,  the Ekwe-Ibas led Navy, had handed over  10 arrested pirates  who had attacked   and boarded a Chinese vessel, MV. HAILUFANG, off the coast of the West African country of Cote d’Ivoire   and directed it towards the Nigerian waters.

Bashir Jamoh
Director-General and CEO of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency

  The good news was that the arrest of the pirates by the Navy and subsequent handover to NIMASA, marked the beginning of the  prosecution  of the water Criminals under  the country’s    Supression  of Piracy  and other Maritime Offences, SPOMO, which was signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari in June, 2019.

 The first batch of the pirates  dragged  to the  PortHarcourt Court,  in oil Rivers state, south-south Nigeria, by NIMASA, over  their involvement  in hijacking of  a Chinese ship last march off the coast of Cote d’Ivoire and directed  it towards Nigeria  were fined $52,000 each.

As a Tax expert , who  was said to have had   much influence on the government  on Tax Collection in the country, the CITN, boss was said to have  called ’’for equal treatment  of the  operators in the nation’s shipping industry and  tax Concessions  to the shipping Companies,  given what the Companies  had gone through  over the last couple of months because of the Wuhan Town  in Hebei Province of the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19, as most of their businesses were  virtually closed down. This is because the Pandemic had adverse effect on global shipping, which in turn had advese effet onthe shipping industry in Nigeria.

Among the notable  dignitaries that were said to have attended the CTN, Conference in Lagos, were Inuwa Yahaya and Nasir El-rufai, a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, under former President Olusegun Obasanjo led People’s Democratic Party, PDP,  government , between 199 and 2007 and now governor of Kaduna state, north west Nigeria

. El-rufai may have picked interest on events of the nation’s maritime sector because of the good works of Jamoh, the Director General, NIMASA,  an  indigene of the state, and Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, described in  Political  circles  as her god daughter and who incidentally is an indigene of Katsina state.

 The governor may have  seen that the  country’s future  economic  survival  lies in the government diversifying  into the nation’s maritime sector in order  to attract more investment that could earn Foreign exchange for the country  with the drop of oil price in the International oil market due to the COVID 19, which  had reduced investment in the sector.        

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