National Policy imperative for maritime strategy 2050 -NIMASA
By Udeme Clement
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ,NIMASA, has called for the implementation of a National Maritime Policy in Nigeria, to serve as catalyst for actualising the objectives of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy ,AIMS, 2050.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside made this call while declaring open the meeting of Inter-Ministerial Committee for implementation of AIMS 2050, held in Lagos.
He stressed, “A maritime policy for Nigeria will provide a platform to implement the framework for protection and sustainable exploitation of Africa’s Maritime Domain ,AMD”.
Dakuku who was represented by Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, urged the committee to take cognisance of the current maritime security architecture in Nigeria, which has been structured in line with international best standards.
He stated, “In order to realise the dream of a blue economy, strategies must be put in place, security and capacity building among other initiatives are key areas to unlocking the opportunities abound in blue economy”.
He explained, “When you talk about security issues, you talk about the actual and the perceived. In the real sense of business, perception matters a lot. The Gulf of Guinea ,GoG, is perceived as not being quite safe because of few attempts we had in the GoG, but I can assure you that the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA are working hand in hand to secure the Gulf of Guinea”.
He used that opportunity to applaud the Committee for involving Ship owners in AIMS 2050 implementation process, emphasizing that blue economy cannot be realised without ship owners, as they are the major assets owners. He also gave the assurance that interest and concerns of ship owners will also be addressed.
In her remarks, the Chairman of the Committee, Hajia Amina Yusuf disclosed that AIM Strategy was developed as a response to the high volume of illegal activities that have been in occurrence in Africa’s Maritime Domain, amounting to huge losses in revenue and lives among other issues militating against the development of AMD.
Moreso, the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Implementation of AIMS 2050, came about as the outcome of the meeting of the African Union on AIMS 2050, which took place in Addis Ababa on 24th – 25th July, 2015. Among the resolutions arrived at during the meeting was the position that Nigeria should constitute an Inter-Ministerial Committee, to enhance its efforts at fulfilling its obligation towards the adoption and implementation of the Strategy.
Accordingly, the Inter-Ministerial Committee constitutes of 11 members, drawn from NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority ,NPA, Nigerian Shippers’ Council ,NSC and National Inland Waterways Authority ,NIWA, with the aim of articulating positions towards enhancement of AIMS 2050 and ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy, EIMS, activities for a robust maritime domain in Nigeria and Africa at large.