Ease of doing business: Minister assures stakeholders of safe maritime domain …As DG NIMASA begs for more support
By FRANCIS EZEM
The Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has assured stakeholders in the maritime industry that the Federal Government will leave no stone unturned in actualising its goal of achieving a safer and more secure maritime domain in the Nigeria maritime space.
The Minister who said this during a one-day stakeholders’ interactive forum held in Warri, Delta State with the theme; ‘Implementation of Executive Order One (1) – Ease of Doing Business in a secure maritime environment’, noted that one of the factors militating against the success of the maritime industry in Nigeria remains insecurity in the Niger Delta region, which he said is also hampering the growth and development of the region.
The maritime stakeholders’ interactive forum is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transport geared towards bringing the government to the people so that challenges and solutions will be discussed and brought to a roundtable, all with the sole aim developing the maritime industry for greater efficiency and all-inclusive participation. The 2018 edition is the second in the series.
Amaechi also charged the stakeholders to collaborate with the government in order to actualise its policies and also join forces together to frustrate efforts by saboteurs who are bent on distorting government’s efforts of realising a robust and crime- free maritime domain.
“We must resist the efforts of some unscrupulous individuals trying to frustrate government’s efforts in ensuring safety and security of our maritime domain, because private interest should not and cannot supersede national interest. On our part as a government, we will do all we can to ensure we secure Nigeria’s waterways”, Amaechi said
The Minister also commended the efforts of the agencies under the watch of the Ministry of Transport for their astuteness in ensuring that the sector gets the desired attention and therefore challenged them not to rest on their oars in ensuring that the Federal Government’s policy on ease of doing business is achieved.
Meanwhile, Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside who delivered a goodwill message at the forum, called on the industry players to continue to support government policies.
The DG who described the maritime industry as a multi-stakeholder industry that plays an important role in the growth of the national economy, noted that without the maritime industry, Nigeria cannot fund her annual budget.
“In our industry, all of us are equally important and have our different roles; but it is only when we work in a synergy that we can accomplish great results. For us in NIMASA, we have our eyes on the ball and the different achievements made in recent times is because of the roles of the different stakeholders”, Peterside stated.
He also said: “In the past few months the agency has made significant progress in various areas such as; sponsoring 298 cadets to do sea time training in United Kingdom and Egypt; Nigeria has moved up in ease of doing business; also it is a fact that because of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy NCCS, in the past six months we have had over 200 seafarers onboard different Cabotage vessel, among several other developmental initiatives”.
The NIMASA -boss also hinted that the agency has commenced talks with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board NCDMB, which is at an advanced stage and would lead to the engagement of over 100 brand new Cabotage vessels in the oil and gas industry.
He therefore thank the Minister of Transport for the focused and dynamic leadership he has provided for the industry and assured him of the unalloyed support of the agencies under his watch, especially in terms of working towards a common goal to reposition the maritime industry.
The event had in attendance chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Umar Bago, who also stated that the National Assembly will do all it can to ensure the ease of doing business in the maritime industry.
Also present was the chairman of the NIMASA Governing Board, Major Gen Jonathan India Garba rtd, chairman, board of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mr. Emmanuel Olajide Adesoye, as well as the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Barrister Hassan Bello, among several other stakeholders from the private sector.