*Stakeholders Commend NIMASA’s Leadership Role in Africa*
For Nigeria to effectively move away from an oil-dependent economy and
industrialise, it must develop the blue economy. This was the position of
the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety
Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside and other top players in the maritime
industry, at the 2018 World Maritime Day celebration held yesterday in
Themed “IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future,” this
year’s event, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of the
International Maritime Organisation (IMO), according to Dr. Dakuku, could
not have come at a better time than now, when Nigeria is taking deliberate
steps to harness the enormous benefits of the country’s maritime industry.
According to the Director-General, NIMASA is taking various steps to ensure
the growth of the sector for the overall economic benefit of the country.
“We want to make sure that our maritime sector remains virile and this is
the reason we are making moves to safeguard our maritime domain because we
cannot talk about shipping without taking the safety and security of our
maritime domain seriously,” he stated.
Dakuku pointed out that the total spectrum maritime security strategy being
put in place by the Agency will ensure that the maritime subsector was rid
of criminalities that hamper the industry’s growth. He said the ultimate
goal of the Agency was to make Nigeria one of the safest maritime domains
Commenting on the Executive Order of the Federal Government on Ease of
Doing Business, the Director-General said the Agency had succeeded in
reducing the issuance time for bill and sailing clearance to vessels to 24
hours, thereby drastically reducing the delay in vessel turnaround time.
Speaking at the event also, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of
Transportation, Sabiu Zakari, who represented the Honourable Minister of
Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, said Nigeria received and
generated a lot of cargo and must, therefore, take advantage of its
geographic position to grow its economy through effective maritime
Zakari said, “Nigeria enjoys larger share in the movement of cargoes due to
her location along the Gulf of Guinea, which is a transit and strategic
route for movement of cargo across Africa. It is, therefore, imperative
that the route is secured to fully harness the benefits of maritime trade.”
In the same vein, Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Secretary to the IMO, Mr.
Bala Dikko, said in recent times Nigeria’s relationship with the United
Nations organ had improved. He commended the leadership role NIMASA was
playing in the West African sub-region, stating that security in the region
has greatly improved due to the renewed collaboration and cooperation being
championed by Nigeria among the maritime administrations of the sub-region.
In her own remarks, the Secretary-General of the Memorandum of
Understanding on Port State Control For West and Central African Sub
Region, popularly referred to as Abuja MoU, Barr. Ufom Usoro, noted the
recent strides of NIMASA in the development of the maritime industry. Usoro
said NIMASA, as Nigeria’s representative on the MoU, had played a leading
role in the region, especially as it concerns port state and flag state
control. She commended the leadership of NIMASA for carrying the
stakeholders along in its bid to move the industry forward.
Usoro said the impact of the Dakuku-led management of the Agency was being
felt on the continent, adding that this is one of the reasons he was
re-elected to lead the Association of African Maritime Administrations
(AAMA) for another term at the recently held fourth conference of the body
The Rector of Maritime Academy (MAN), Oron, Commodore Duja Effedua, and
other notable stakeholders at the event were unanimous in their
commendation for NIMASA, especially as it concerns building capacity for
the sector. They called for support for the Agency’s drive to create sea
time for the graduates of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme
The World Maritime Day is a day set aside by the IMO to celebrate the
contributions of the maritime industry to the global economy. Though
internationally marked on September 27, each IMO member state has the right
to choose a suitable date on which to commemorate the event.