11 January 2019, Sweetcrude, Lagos — A former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has said that the Nigerian maritime sector could be harnessed to be an alternative source of revenue for the government as the industry is well sector is well positioned to do so.
Gen Abubakar, who spoke ahead of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Maritime Awards, also commended efforts by the Agency to motivate stakeholders and staff adding that this would help them take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the economy.
”It is time to develop other alternative sources of revenue for the nation and the maritime sector is well positioned to do so. What NIMASA is doing in the industry and the Awards are quite in line to motivate stakeholders and staff to take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the economy,” General Abubakar said.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed that the successes recorded so far in the maritime sector were as a result of the cooperation of the stakeholders in the industry with the Agency.
The DG added that the award was part of the efforts to celebrate and reward excellence in the Nigerian maritime industry and to also encourage more local participation in the shipping business as well as draw attention to the vast opportunities in the sector for both and foreign and local investors to grow the blue economy, which is now the focus of global investments.
“As an Agency, we recognise the role of our stakeholders in our drive to realise a robust maritime sector; without the stakeholders, there will be no NIMASA and by extension, no maritime industry. We are therefore hopeful that in the coming years, we will continue to work assiduously to meet the yearnings of the industry as we hope to engage more in collaboration so that all of us can boast of a robust maritime sector,” Dr. Dakuku said.
The past year was quite eventful for the maritime industry under Dakuku, as many important milestones were recorded.
Among them is the provision of sea time for over 500 cadets; the arrival of the modular floating dockyard that will create capacity and help retain multimillion of dollars in-country for through vessel maintenance; midwiving of the collective bargaining agreement for industrial harmony with improves wages and entitlements for maritime workers.
The Agency also championed the change of terms of trade from Free on Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF), to enable local participation of Nigerian shipping firms in the crude oil business to create wealth and employment; for the first time, NIMASA initiated a maritime industry forecast aimed at providing direction for industry players.