26 June 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has stated that the efficiency and effectiveness of the Nigerian economy depends largely on the maritime sector as over 90 per cent of the world trade is transported through the sea.
Senator Okowa, who made these remarks on Monday in his keynote address during the 2018 Day of the Seafarers, with the theme, “Seafarers’ wellbeing” held in Warri, Delta State and organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and other maritime agencies, commended NIMASA for its efforts and determination to ensure that Nigeria is reckoned with in the international maritime domain.
The governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor of the state, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, applauded the initiative of the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University (NMU), which is the first specialised in Africa, and expressed the readiness of the state to partner the agency in actualising the vision behind the establishment of the institution.
“As a state, we are prepared to support and partner NIMASA and the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure the underlying motive of establishing the Maritime University is achieved. We are also certain that the university undoubtedly will be a source of training more seafarers and adding more commercial value to the Nigerian economy,” the governor said.
In his welcome remarks, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, noted that the Nigerian seafarers rank among the best in the world and can favourably compete with their foreign counterparts.
He maintained that this is why the agency, in the past few years, had embarked on the training and retraining of Nigerian seafarers and cadets in specialised maritime courses, both locally and internationally, which is aimed at enhancing their competences and employability.
Peterside, who reiterated the agency’s commitment to ensuring a better living condition for the seafarers in line with the International Labour Organisation, ILO’s, Decent Work Agenda, gave the assurance that NIMASA will continue to make issues concerning the seafarers a priority.
He also highlighted the importance of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, MLC, 2006, which, he said, Nigerian ratified in 2013, stating that it made adequate provisions for seafarers’ welfare which if fully implemented will also guarantee their wellbeing.