Maritime Agency to advance global economic interest

By David Adekunle, Lagos

Nigeria will advance its global economic interest once it gets the regulation of the Maritime sector right.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside says 90% of the global commerce is conducted via sea borne trade and Nigeria is strategically placed between the West and Central Africa which puts it at a global advantage.peter

“ Therefore, we must get the regulation of the industry right because there is need to make Nigeria a global voice in the Maritime Sector…The Agency has come up with various interventionist programmes that would speedily impact positively on the sector alongside the restructuring of the Agency,’’ Dr Peterside told journalists in an interview in Lagos.

According to him, “the Agency is concluding the process of acquiring a modular floating dry dock that will allow Cabotage vessels and other vessels calling at the Ports to be able to maintain their boats and save the much needed foreign exchange, in addition to creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.’’

Loss of foreign exchange
The NIMASA boss also observed that about 400 vessels participate in the Cabotage trade and at least 5,000 vessels call at the nation’s ports, yet most of them routinely take their vessels outside the country for regular dry docking and maintenance, thereby making Nigeria lose a lot of foreign exchange.

“As an interventionist measure, we decided that NIMASA can acquire a floating dockyard and set it up, so that instead of people going outside to dry-dock their boats on regular basis they can maintain their boats here, dry-dock them and off course we will save the much needed foreign exchange,” the DG explained.

Ship repair yard
In line with the Agency’s mandate of building capacity for the industry, Dr Perterside stated that the ship repair yard was expected to employ a minimum of 100 persons with different kind of skills and save the time used for dry-docking outside the country.

While seeking continuous collaboration amongst Stakeholders in the industry, Dr. Peterside gave the assurance that in no distance time, Nigerian would become the preferred maritime destination in Africa.

The NIMASA DG had recently informed the public of the restructuring of the Agency for better service delivery in the Maritime Sector.

Mercy Chukwudiebere