11 March 2016, Lagos – Maritime stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings over the appointment of Dr Dakuku Peterside as the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Adiministration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The stakeholders spoke in separate interviews in Lagos. The Director-General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs Ify Akerele-Anazonwu , said that she had always expressed her feelings about the appointment of a “non maritime person’’ to head a maritime agency.
Anazonwu-Akerele said the chamber, however, wished the new director-general well and would cooperate with him. A former President, Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA Nigeria), Mrs Jean Chiazor-Anishere, said that she was still studying the profile of the new director-general.
“I am only trying to understand why the change,’’ she said A former President, Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, described the appointment of Peterside as a departure from the past.
“Though, he has no relevant experience as stated by the NIMASA Act but not a green horn from his experience of the sector while in the House of Representatives,’’ Jolapamo said.
A former Director-General of the defunct National Maritime Authority (NMA), Mr John Egesi, said that it had always been a tradition to appoint outsiders and non-professionals as heads of NIMASA.
“There is a golden lining somewhere in the appointment of Peterside and his qualifications.
“Peterside studied Management. He did an MBA and read Economics and Maritime has a lot to do with Economics,’’ Egesi said. He said that when he looked at the appointment of Peterside with the language of Management Economics he had, he would understand quicker.
“His knowledge of Management Economics gives him an advantage.
“If he has a listening ear, he might be able to pick up faster than others who had occupied the position.
“We have had architects and lawyers who occupied the position,’’ Egesi said.
The Chairman, Port Consultative Council of Nigeria (PCCN), Chief Kunle Folarin, said that competent managers were needed in NIMASA.
Folarin said that the nation had a lot of challenges in the Gulf of Guinea, including piracy and maritime security.
“It becomes very necessary that all personnel working in the agency must be conversant with international conventions which they should implement.
“The agency (NIMASA) should also generate revenue from the functions it handles. “Its functions also include international shipping and keeping the water pollution-free,’’ the maritime expert said.
He said that the critical issue of shipping development must be at the fore front adding that “Nigeria cannot be having up to 5,000 ships calling without partaking in international trade.’’
Folarin stressed the need to revamp human capacity development through the National Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).