The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, has commended the turnaround efforts of the current management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, led by its Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, to develop the maritime industry and increase its contribution to the economy. 

According to the governor, the appointment of Peterside as DG of the agency was one of the most skillful and opportune decisions made by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in its drive to revolutionise the maritime industry.

While speaking with journalists at the weekend at the Kaduna State Government House, he said Peterside has brought his wealth of experience and pragmatism to bear on the maritime industry, occasioning many reforms that have produced significant growth in the industry within a short period.

“Dr. Peterside is a vibrant young man who has brought a lot of reforms to the maritime industry. This is what you get when you appoint young and knowledgeable people and this appointment has brought a lot of gains to this administration”, the governor also said

The governor said with the length of Nigeria’s coastline, the country deserves more benefit from the maritime industry. He added, “I know NIMASA, in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority, headed by my former Chief Of Staff, Hadiza Bala Usman, is doing a lot to decongest the Apapa Ports and we are proud of what they are doing so far. But we must also look at ways of building new ports to decongest Apapa.”

El-Rufai also commended the Buhari administration’s first term Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi, who he said has revolutionised the entire transport sector under difficult circumstances. He said Kaduna State was one of the beneficiaries of Amaechi’s vision, as the Abuja-Kaduna rail line, which completion was facilitated by the former Rivers State governor, is now one of the busiest rail lines in the country.

“I do not recall any Minister of Transport that has achieved as much in so little time, under very difficult circumstances as Amaechi has done. Kaduna State is one of the beneficiaries of his effort, because the Abuja-Kaduna rail that started more than 10 years ago was completed under his tenure.

“It was a single-minded focus on completing projects of benefit to the country that enabled that, and today, that train connection is one of the busiest and most patronised in Nigeria. For the first time Nigerians are seeing the advantage of having a functional rail system and he was also very influential to the appointments of Hadiza Bala Usman and Dakuku  Peterside and the maritime industry is better for those strategic appointments.”

Recall that Dr. Peterside was appointed the NIMASA DG in March 2016. Under his watch, a lot of reforms have been initiated, including the strategic New Cabotage Compliance Strategy, which has created more employment for Nigerians in the maritime industry and significantly grown the industry’s contribution to both the Gross Domestic Product GDP and Federation Account in terms of revenue generation.