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Economic Growth: NIMASA pushes 7000 new jobs in maritime

Says anti-piracy
Bill Will Aid Maritime Development

L-R: Executive Director (ED) , Maritime Labour &
Cabotage Services, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency
(NIMASA) Ahmed Gambo, Director General (DG), Dr Dakuku Peterside,
ED, Administration & Finance, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and the Head Planning Research and Data Management Services of NIMASA, Mrs Ronke Thomas during a meeting with media executives, in Lagos, on Thursday

The Director-General of the Nigerian
Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has
said that the Agency had already keyed into the vision of the President by
creating over 7000 jobs in the last six months through the New Cabotage
Compliance Strategy and is set to do more, as there are vast opportunities in
the maritime sector.

Dakuku stated this on Thursday in Lagos
while speaking with journalists on the activities of NIMASA. 

He said the Agency
had come up with strategies that had ensured a steady rise in the number of
jobs created through manning, crewing, stevedoring, and dockworkers engagement. 

This, he said, has positioned the maritime industry as one of the key sectors
that will support the realisation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement
during his Democracy Day broadcast of bringing 100 million Nigerians out of
poverty in 10 years, as maritime possesses a vast opportunity for our economic
According to the NIMASA DG, the
implementation of a five-year plan for the cessation of waiver has encouraged
the employment of more Nigerians by vessel owners.

He said the effect of the
new Cabotage regime was still yielding positive results, as more Nigerians are
set to be engaged in various sub-sectors of the maritime industry due to the
discouragement of the dominance of the sector by foreigners.

“We have always known that the political will to deal with the issue of waivers
in the Cabotage regime had been the challenge in the past. Our pronouncement
and implementation of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy has led to the
engagement of over 7000 Nigerians in various sub-sectors within the industry. 

This has also resulted in 32% increase in vessels operating under the Cabotage
regime in the first two quarters of 2019,” he said.
Detailing the achievements of NIMASA,
Dakuku said that the Agency had inspected and surveyed over 600 vessels calling
at Nigerian ports, an unprecedented feat, which he said showed that Nigeria was
alive to its port state and flag state responsibilities. 

He said the increased
inspection and survey had ensured that sub-standard vessels no longer call at
Nigerian ports, which has also improved safety on Nigerian waters.
The DG also pointed out that in line with
the Ease of Doing Business initiative of the President Buhari administration,
it now takes less than 24 hours to issue sailing clearance to vessels that call
at Nigerian ports, from about seven days at the time the current management of
NIMASA came on board. 

He noted that this had greatly improved vessel turnaround
time and made Nigerian ports more attractive.
Dakuku said the Agency was taking strategic
steps to deal with the issue of piracy, disclosing that the Antipiracy bill
sponsored by NIMASA has been passed by the National Assembly and as soon as it
gets the required Executive assent, it will help tame the piracy monster and
open up more opportunities in the sector. 

He stated that though the steps taken
were challenging, the Agency was committed to ensuring a safe and secure
maritime environment to promote participation in maritime business.
He said, “The issue of maritime crime has
been challenging, not only to us as a nation but also the entire Gulf of Guinea.
To achieve the objective of a safe and secure maritime environment that will
guarantee the realisation of the President’s pronouncement, commitment is
critical and we at NIMASA have decided to take the challenge head-on with the
various strategies formulated at the Agency’s level to drive the process.”
To this, he noted that the world will be
coming to Nigeria in October to brainstorm on ways of collectively tackling the
menace of maritime insecurity. This is with a view to advance the growth and
development of the sector to the benefit of the country and Africa at large,
with NIMASA championing the initiative.
Dakuku equally charged the local media to
be sensitive to issues of national interest and push out facts that will help
position the country properly before the world, and cross-check what goes out
to the public domain. 

This, he said, is because the Nigerian media, as the
third estate of the realm, is an enabler that foreign and local mediums rely on
for information on Nigeria, which shapes their decisions on international
politics and economic investments with regard to the country. 

Their further
exposure of the vast economic opportunities in Nigeria, both in the maritime
sector and the entire economic spectrum, will help support Government’s efforts
to attract investments to develop the country, he stated.
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