The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has disclosed that the Federal Government will soon harmonize taxes paid by jetty operators to address double taxation and promote ease of doing business in the country.
Sambo noted that operators are more often made to pay multiple registration fees by different regulatory agencies such as the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency (NMASA).
The spokesperson of the Ministry, Eric Ojiekwe in a statement said the Minister made the disclosure on Wednesday in Abuja during a meeting with the Technical Sub-Committee of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), led by its Chairman, Engr. Joseph Ororo.
Speaking on the Committee’s mandate of licensing jetties and closure of illegal platforms, he appreciated their exploits while advising that their inspections should not be restricted to timelines but should include unscheduled visits to jetties to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Technical Sub-Committee on Private jetties, Joseph Ororo informed that the Committee was created in 2004, to checkmate security breaches, economic sabotage, gun-running, and other criminal activities which were traced to private jetties.
According to him, the Technical Sub-Committee is the expert arm of the Presidential Standing Committee on Private Jetties (PSCPJ), adding that prior to the constitution of the Standing Committee, there was a directive shutting down all private jetties across the country due to the intractable illegalities associated with them.
The chairman further said the Committee had the following Terms of Reference: “To re-open all jetties deemed vital to the economy of the country as well as to examine all the remaining closed jetties and recommend those to be retained and those to remain permanently closed”.
Others are: “The Standing Committee meets from time to time to consider applications for operating licenses for jetties and recommend those to be issued new licenses by the Honorable Minister of Transportation.
“Also, the Honorable Minister of Transportation is to continue to issue licenses for the operation of jetties on the recommendation of the Standing Committee.
“Sambo to prepare and present a note to Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the activities of the Standing Committee for its information, the Minister is also to keep the President fully informed on the work of the Standing Committee”.
Ororo also informed that the work of the Sub-Committee has contributed immensely to increased revenue generation for the various regulatory Agencies and the Federal Government as well as bringing about a high level of safety at the respective private jetties.
Similarly, he pointed out that other derivatives from the work of the Committee are that multi-national companies no longer engage in the jetty facilities if such do not possess valid license duty.
The chairman observed that there is an improved relationship between the companies and their host communities due to Cooperate Social Responsibility Projects and job creation made available to them and Nigerians by extension, the statement added.