Nigeria is making efforts to retain the hosting right of the Secretariat of the Regional Maritime Bank, presently being touted for Democratic Republic of Congo.
Chief Chris Orode, chairman, Committee of Experts on the Regional Maritime Bank, made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos. He said that the Franco-phone countries were angling for the headquarters of the bank to be ceded to Central Africa. The maritime expert said that he had brought this to the attention of government.
Chief Orode said that government had started giving the regional bank serious consideration. According to him, Nigeria has the cargo traffic, the population and is in a good position to retain the Secretariat of the Regional Maritime Bank in Abuja. Orode said that the bank would serve 25 countries from Angola to Mauritania in the West and Central Africa. 25 countries constitute the Maritime Organisation of West and Central Africa (MOWCA), a body that gave Nigeria the final approval to host and start the bank.
Presently, financial and legal consultants had been appointed and the bank’s secretariat had been accumulating rents without operation.
NAN reports that the regional bank is a sub-regional initiative supported by multilateral agencies like the World Bank, African Development Bank (ADB) and European banks.
MOWCA had made initial contacts with the agencies and the agencies were waiting for the take-off of the bank’s secretariat to take the project to the next level.