FG will achieve its goal for safer maritime domain- Says Transport Minister
.Dakuku calls for more support to grow the sector
By Udeme Clement
“The Federal Government will leave no stone unturned in actualising its goal for a safer and more secured maritime domain in Nigeria’s maritime space”, said the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi.
The Minister gave maritime stakeholders this assurance while speaking at a one-day stakeholders’ interactive forum held in Warri, Delta State, with the theme; ‘Implementation of Executive Order, Ease of Doing Business in a secure maritime environment’
He mentioned insecurity in Niger Delta region as one of the factors militating against the growth of the sector, stressed that this problem is also hampering the development of the region.
Amaechi tasked Stakeholders on collaboration with government, in order to implement its policies. “Let us join forces together to frustrate efforts by saboteurs who are bent on distorting government’s efforts in realising a robust and crime free maritime domain. We must resist the efforts of some unscrupulous individuals trying to frustrate government’s efforts in ensuring safety and security of our maritime domain, because private interest should not and cannot override national interest. On our part as government, we will do all we can to ensure we secure the waterways”, he emphasized.
Speaking further, the Minister commended efforts by agencies under the Ministry of Transportation for their astuteness in ensuring that the sector gets desired attention. He advised them not to relent at ensuring that government’s policy on ease of doing business is realised.
In the same vein, the Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ,NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside who delivered a goodwill message, called on industry players to continue to support government policies.
Peterside who described maritime as a multi-stakeholder industry that plays an important role in the growth of the nation, noted that without the sector, we cannot fund the budget.
His assertion, “In our industry, all of us are equally important and have our different roles but it is only when we work in synergy that we can accomplish great results. For us in NIMASA, we have our eyes on the ball and the different achievements made in recent times is because of the roles of different Stakeholders”.
He went on, “In the past few months NIMASA has made significant progress in various areas such as; sponsoring 298 cadets to do sea time training in United Kingdom and Egypt; Nigeria has moved up in ease of doing business. Also, it is a fact that because of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy ,NCCS, in the past six months, we had over 200 seafarers on board different Cabotage vessels, among other developmental initiatives. We are talking with Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board ,NCDMB, which is at its advanced stage, leading to the engagement of over 100 new Cabotage vessels in oil and gas industry”.
Dr. Peterside used the opportunity to thank the Minister of Transportation for his dynamic leadership in supervising activities in the sector, assuring him that the agencies under his watch will work towards a common goal to reposition the maritime sector.
The dignitaries at the forum include Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Hon Umar Bago who also stated that the Legislative House will do everything within its powers to enhance ease of doing business in the maritime sector. Also present at the event were; the Chairman, NIMASA Governing Board, Jonathan India Garba, the Chairman, Board of the Nigerian Ports Authority ,NPA, Mr. Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Bala Hadiza Usman, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello. Other stakeholders from the private sector at the event include, President Nigerian Shipowners Forum ,Margaret Orakwusi, Ify Akerele as well as the Chairman, Truck Owners Association, Chief Aderemi Ogungbemi among other notable stakeholders.
Thus, the maritime Stakeholders’ interactive forum is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transportation geared towards bringing the government to the people, so that challenges and solutions will be discussed and brought to a round table, with the aim of developing the maritime sector for greater efficiency and all-inclusive participation. The 2018 edition was the second in the series.