The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that if Nigeria must advance its global economic interest then the country must ensure that it gets the regulation of the maritime sector right.
Dr. Peterside who made this statement in an chat with the newsmen said that 90% of global commerce is conducted via sea borne trade and Nigeria is strategically placed between the West and Central Africa which puts it at a global advantage.
“If we must advance our global economic interest, then we must ensure that we get the maritime industry right, precisely the regulation of the industry” the DG averred.
Speaking further, Dr. Peterside who noted that in recognition of the fact that there is need to make Nigeria a global voice in the Maritime Sector, the Agency has come up with various interventionist programmes that would speedily impact positively on the sector alongside the restructuring, reforming and repositioning of the Agency.
In the light of this, the DG hinted that the Agency is concluding the process of acquiring a modular floating dry dock that would allow Cabotage vessels and other vessels calling at our Ports to be able to maintain their boats in-country and save the much needed foreign exchange, in addition to creating employment opportunities for Nigerians.
The NIMASA helmsman also observed that about 400 vessels participate in the Cabotage trade and at least 5,000 vessels call at the nation’s ports, yet most of them routinely take their vessels outside the country for regular dry docking and maintenance, thereby making the country lose a lot of foreign exchange.
“As an interventionist measure, we decided that NIMASA can acquire a floating dockyard, set it up in the country, so that instead of people going outside to dry-dock their boats on regular basis they can maintain their boats here, dry-dock their boats and off course we will save the much needed foreign exchange”, he said.
In addition, the DG stated that in line with the Agency’s mandate of building capacity for the industry, the ship repair yard is expected to employ a minimum of 100 persons with different kind of skills and save time used for dry-docking outside the country.
While seeking continuous co-operation and collaboration amongst Stakeholders in the industry, Dr. Peterside gave the assurance that in no distance time, Nigerian will become the preferred maritime destination in Africa.
It would be recalled that the NIMASA DG had recently informed the public of the restructuring of the Agency for better service delivery in the Maritime Sector.