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Dakuku calls China Maritime Silk Road, game changer for global transport

Africa on Risk Assessment of Chinese Initiative

Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that the Chinese Belt
and Road Initiative (BRI), also known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the
21st-century Maritime Silk Road, would be a game changer for global transport
and substantially affect the pattern of global commerce. 

Dakuku stated this in
Dubai during the Dubai Maritime Summit 2018, which was part of the events at
the five-day UAE Maritime Week 2018 that ended on November 1. 

Speaking on the benefits and risks of the BRI, a Chinese
government development strategy aimed at enhancing regional connectivity
through infrastructure development and investments in Europe, Asia and Africa,
the DG urged African and Middle East countries to plan mitigation measures
against potential risk elements of the initiative. 

He identified the likely
risk elements to include trade imbalance in favour of China and Chinese control
of trade infrastructure, which will give it a lot of leverage in the global
market place.

Dakuku said the “Chinese policy will affect port calls and hub
decisions, which may adversely affect ports of Africa and Middle East; Chinese
political influence and dominance leading to reintroduction of Sino centric
order is imminent; the tanker market will shrink substantially, as pipelines
across continents will be the preferred mode of transportation of oil and gas.”

However, he said the benefits of the Chinese economic initiative
outweighed the risks.
At the event, the panellists unanimously agreed that the China
Belt and Road initiative would open new markets in global commerce, improve
connectivity between modes of transport, enhance speed and efficiency at the
ports, open new international trade routes, and boost technology transfer.

On the panel to discuss the initiative were Managing Director of
Precious Shipping, Khalid Hashim; Chief Executive Officer of King Abdallah
Port, Rayan Qutub; Chief Executive Officer of Drewey, Tim Power; and CCO of Abu
Dhabi Ports, Ross Thompson.

The Dubai Maritime Summit brings together the maritime sector’s
leaders, decision makers, policymakers, high-level government officials, and
regional and international maritime industry leaders to deliberate on issues
affecting the global maritime industry. 
Previous editions included some of the
most distinguished local and international guests, such as Secretary-General of
the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim, and UAE Minister of
Infrastructure Development and Chairman of the Federal Transport Authority,
Land and Maritime, H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi.

The Belt and Road initiative is the signature policy of Chinese
President Xi Jinping. The basic idea behind it is to boost trade and economic
integration among the countries in the initiative through investments in roads,
pipelines, ports, communication networks and other such infrastructure that
promotes connectivity.

The Dakuku-led administration of NIMASA has continued to
collaborate with other maritime nations to transform and bring Nigeria’s
maritime sector to international limelight, so that it can compete favourably
with those of other countries.

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