The National Assembly has called on aggrieved stakeholders who are not pleased with some of the amendments or proposal of new laws to explore other mechanisms to show their grievances rather than venting their anger on Nigerians.
The Chairman, House Committee on Ports and Harbour, and Waterways Honourable Pat Asadu gave the advice yesterday at the 2nd National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) International Conference and Exhibition (ICE), in Lagos.
Recall that the Maritime Unions had recently kicked against the ports and harbour bill, even as they declared one day warning strike against the amendment of the bill saying it was selfish and geared at benefiting few individuals at the expense of the masses.
The unions maintained that they were not carried along in the process.
The Nigeria Labour Congress had also during a courtesy call on the union last week promised to join forces with the union to abolish the bill .
Asadu however, at the NIWA’s event said, “We are primarily in Abuja to make laws for the good of this country, we may disagree on other things but we shouldn’t disagree on being Nigerians.
“Why I am saying this is because when we were trying to make amendment or propose a new law, we go through rigorous process to make sure that relevant stakeholders are carried along,” the chairman maintained.
“If stakeholders are not comfortable with the laws we are making, there are other mechanisms for you to make your views accessible to us without stressing Nigerians.
“We expect you to invite us that is why we also invite you when we want to start the process of law making,” he stated.
Speaking against the backdrop of the event organised by NIWA,Honourable Asadu said that “I am not too keen about the success by NIWA towards getting the acceptance of her bill for enactment but what I am most perplexed about is that the major amendments to the NIWA bill was all about making the authority to strengthen its natural institutional capacity,diversify its activities,remove operational conflicts with other sister agencies and to refuse to take any more government subvention and appropriation for its day to day activities and proposed developments in the inalnd waterways sector”
He commended inland water agency for focusing on amending its act to become self reliant and promising to contribute even more funds to Treasury Single Account (TSA) ,adding that most agencies are scrambling to get more fund from the federal government.
Asadu added that NIWA was poised to attract investment, develop infrastructure,diversify its services and most of all to bring back its past glory,pointing out that the significance of inland waterways transportation and waterfront ventures serve as a major contributor to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP).
Chairman stressed ” it is apparently clear that NIWA is becoming an important engine room for domestic trade,mobility of goods,services and passengers in Nigeria.
Asadu further maintained that the conference was one of the strategies of NIWA towards creating an interface with stakeholders,potential investors and creating the required sensitisation of the general public on the giant strides taken by the authority to grow into the category of other agencies like NPA, NIMASA and NNPC.