*Reiterates commitment to maritime capacity building
31 May 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, will undergo major reforms in the next one year to boast it’s capacity to drive the growth and development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
The Agency’s Director General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside who stated this recently said the reforms are in line with the ‘change’ agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration which is committed to the diversification of the nation’s economy.
Speaking with some delegation of the Oxford Business Group led by its Country Director, Izabela Kruk, Dr. Peterside emphasised that the Agency has the requisite knowledgeable human capital noting that what was required to refocus and reposition the NIMASA is a committed leadership which the present Management is willing to provide.
He said that the agency is developing a medium-term strategic growth plan which will aid the Management to focus on its core mandate of promoting the development of indigenous capacity in international and coastal shipping as well as effectively regulating the maritime industry in Nigeria.
While commenting on the public perception of NIMASA over the years, Dr. Peterside said that the agency under his leadership will completely change the narrative from the negative perception of corruption, inefficiency and abandonment of its core mandate to that of a Maritime Administration that is alive to its responsibility intent on making Nigeria the preferred destination for maritime activities in Africa.
He emphasised that the agency will leave no stone unturned, including seeking legislative amendment if need be, to ensure full compliance with the Cabotage Act 2003, which according to him is necessary to fast-track the desired growth in the maritime sector.
The Country Director of the Oxford Business Group, Izabela Kruk expressed the readiness of the Group to partner the agency in documenting and publicising NIMASA activities in its widely read journal.
Ms Kruk who highlighted the benefits of the Group’s partnership with some Nigerian agencies including the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council, NIPC and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG said the collaboration has yielded a lot of positive results for Nigeria pledging that they intend to do same for NIMASA.
The Oxford Business Group is a global publishing, research and consultancy firm, which publishes economic intelligence on the markets in Africa, Asia and Latin America educating investors on the opportunities in these markets and how best to harness them.
In another development, NIMASA reiterated its commitment to the development of maritime capacity for the growth of the Nation’s maritime sector.
Dr. Dakuku Peterside said this while presenting a paper on “NIMASA’s Efforts Towards Human Capacity Development in the Maritime Industry” at a sensitization forum organised to engender students’ interest in shipping in Lagos recently.
Dr. Peterside who was represented at the event by the Agency’s Director of Maritime Labour Services Mrs. Juliana Gunwa explained that the Act setting up NIMASA specifically highlighted the functions of the Agency to include human capacity building which is evident in the successes recorded in the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP).
According to the DG, the NSDP was specially designed to stimulate youths to pick up careers at sea as a result of the ageing corps of Nigerian seafarers.
He charged youths to take a keener interest in the opportunities in the maritime industry emphasising that the sector provides great prospects for employment generation and wealth creation.
Dr. Peterside also called on relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the Agency by putting these young NSDP cadets on board their vessels in order to gain the requisite sea time.
“The NSDP was initiated to arrest the dearth of trained seafarers in the Nigerian Maritime Sector which arose from the liquidation of the Nigerian National Shipping Line (NNSL). The indigenous shipowners also have to play their role to support the Agency’s drive to build human capacity”, the DG said.
Also speaking at the event, the President of the Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Engr. Greg Ogbeifun commended the management of NIMASA led by the Dr. Peterside stating that the DG has made the Agency more vibrant.
The one day programme which was organised by Platform Communications tagged “The Youths and the Future of Nigeria’s maritime industry” to commemorate the Children’s Day celebration is aimed at exposing the youths to the opportunities available in the maritime industry.