Regional cooperation: Nigeria, S/Africa, Ghana, Kenya set for maritime pact
.As African leaders gather In Egypt for AAMA conference
.Partnership key to robust economy – NIMASA DG
By Udeme Clement
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed that regional collaboration is key to developing Africa’s maritime sector. He also stated the Agency’s commitment to reposition Nigerian maritime sector, in order to make it viable and compete favourably with its counterparts in other climes, as Nigeria, S/Africa, Ghana and Kenya get set for collaboration.
The DG who made this known in Lagos, while receiving a delegation from the Gambian Maritime Administration, led by the Director-General, Mr. Mustapher Maroung, said that NIMASA would continue to drive regional collaborations, in order for Africa to reap the benefits of blue economy.
Dr. Dakuku who is also the Chairman of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), said the upcoming conference of the Association with the theme “protecting the African Marine Environment to Support Sustainable Development”, scheduled to hold from 16th -19th of September 2018 in Sharmel Sheikh, Egypt would provide an avenue for African Maritime leaders to chart a way forward for the continent, which could be tagged the biggest Island of all the continents.
“We cannot walk this journey alone; partnership is crucial to achieving a robust economy. The beauty of partnership is that everyone brings his expertise to the table where ideas are shared and considered as a way forward to achieving a particular goal. It is not only here in Nigeria, it has become a global trend and this is what AAMA seeks to achieve for the continent” Dr. Dakuku stated.
Speaking further, Dr. Dakuku noted that the Agency is in discussions with the Maritime Administrations of South Africa, Ghana and Kenya to acquire and jointly operate a training vessel for Cadets. He also noted that discussions are still at the early stages but he is hopeful that such partnership would be beneficial to the countries, adding that AAMA conference would be an avenue to continue discussions in the proposed agreement.
He stated further that the partnership with the United Arab Emirate on free training of 100 cadets would support the country, stressing that the pact provides for the training of 10 cadets per annum spread over 10 years, making it a total number of 100 cadets to be trained in 10 years, contrary to the negative news.
The NIMASA DG also used the opportunity to discuss the issue of disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), assuring that soon, the guidelines for the disbursement of the fund will be publicised for qualified ship owners to be duly considered. He however maintained that the power to grant approval for the release of the funds was vested in the Federal Ministry of Transportation.