Central Africa: Nigeria Awaiting Other Countries' Endorsement of Development Bank Project for West, Central Africa

16 September 2020

The Nigerian government says it is waiting for the acceptance of two-third of Member States to proceed with the Regional Maritime Development Bank project.

For the creation of the bank, the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa(MOWCA) had earlier reached some decisions that it expects all its Member States to meet.

MOWCA unifies 25 countries on the West and Central African shipping range (inclusive of five landlocked countries).

The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed Nigeria's position when he declared-open the meeting of the MOWCA Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Development Bank Project and Interim Board of Directors on Tuesday in Lagos.

The member countries of the MOWCA, having identified the major deficit in the development of indigenous participation in the regional maritime sector and associated value chain, had at an annual general session agreed to establish a maritime bank.

The focus of the bank will be the growth and development of maritime in West and Central Africa with a view to raising debt and equity capital of US$850 million and US$150 million respectively.

The Nigerian government, via the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), was then mandated to take all necessary steps to bring the bank to actualisation.

According to Mr Amaechi, any decision reached at the end of the meeting would not be taken to President Muhammadu Buhari until other member states indicate interest in writing to be part of the project which would develop the maritime sector in Africa.

"Whatever decision we reach here is subject to approval and confirmation of every member state in writing. I will not convene whatever decision reached here to the President until I have the binding of two-third of the members of the organisation 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.

"Nigeria is going to sign for being part of that meeting and we are willing to make our contributions but we will not make those contributions until the two-third of the member states have accepted the decision and have agreed on a timeline which they will make their contributions. I'm willing to participate, we can't have just six countries passing a law on behalf of over 20 countries in the region," he said.

The member countries of the proposed bank are Nigeria, Angola, The Gambia, Benin, Ghana, Sao Tome, and Principe, Cameroon, Guinea, Senegal, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Cote d'Ivoire, Mauritania, Gabon, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, and Mali.

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