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Marine setting pace for prosperous Nigerian Economy

…Awards now Maritime Industry Oscars, says SIFAX Vice Chairman

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group
The numerous transformative
initiatives introduced in the maritime sector by the Nigerian Maritime
Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have established a standard that
other sectors have to follow in the drive for national economic prosperity over
the next decade.

Group Executive Vice Chairman of
SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, stated this on Tuesday in Lagos ahead of the
Maritime Industry Awards and Corporate Dinner slated for January 18 at Eko
Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.

He said the awards annually
organised by NIMASA, like the Academy Awards in the United States, more
popularly called the Oscars, had become an essential element of the maritime
sector, which stakeholders and players now looked up to.

Afolabi said the transformative
efforts of the Agency in the last one year called for celebration and emulation
by all and sundry in the maritime sector and the business community, generally.

According to the SIFAX Vice
Chairman, “The NIMASA awards, no doubt, has come to stay and can be described
as the OSCAR of the Nigerian maritime sector. One beautiful thing about the
award is that it is not for sale, like some other awards you see in town. The
faculty members are truly men of integrity who hold the prosperity of the
maritime sector dear.

“I want to say NIMASA is
midwifing a great project in the sector and the fruit is visible for all to
see. As a stakeholder, the great transformation that has taken place in the
organisation is truly noble and worthy of emulation by all.

“NIMASA has now set the pace for
all other government agencies to follow. I wish you a prosperous 2020 and more
fruitful achievements.”

The current management of NIMASA
led by the Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has introduced several
changes in the operation of the regulatory and promotional Agency, which have
positively impacted the maritime industry and improved investment.

Some of the changes  include the Final Billing System for Freight
Charges, which has drastically reduced turnaround time for reconciliation of
bills in relation to the three per cent freight charge on vessels coming into
the country. 

Before the new system, it took between five and 10 years to
conclude the process, but under the Final Billing regime, all vessel billing
transactions are concluded within two weeks of the ship’s departure.

Other achievements of the Agency
include Improved Maritime Safety, Security, and Domain Awareness; the
Tripartite Agreement by Maritime Stakeholders, which has ensured
employer-employee harmony in the industry; renewed capacity building drive
through implementation of a five-year Cabotage cessation plan; and enhancement
of the Nigerian Ship Registry.

The Awards ceremony is an
occasion to fete industry players and stakeholders, as well as staff of NIMASA,
who made outstanding contributions to the overall success story.

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