From left: Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaech and Chairman, Governing Board of NIMASA, Major General Jonathan India Garba rtd., at the stakeholders’ awards night organised by NIMASA in Lagos recently.

It was pomp and pageantry and a gathering of who is who in the shipping industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, holds its inaugural stakeholders annual merit award, where Genesis Worldwide Shipping, one of the country’s foremost shipping companies was crowned the best indigenous shipping firm of the year 2017 for the wet cargo segment.

Similarly, the agency, Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory body also crowned Ocean Glory Commodities Limited as the best indigenous shipping company of the year while Boubon International Oil Company Limited emerged the best seafarer employer of the year even as Diesel Power Nigeria Limited emerged the most Cabotage compliant company of the year.

The awards, which were in recognition of the numerous contributions of the stakeholders towards the growth and development of the maritime industry in Nigeria, also saw the emergence of Maersk Nigeria Limited, Gulf Agency Company GAC, Nigeria Ltd, Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Centre among others, alongside some members of staff of the agency who have demonstrated commitment to the industry over the years as award winners.

According to the Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the awards were to identify and encourage industry players who have distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of the industry in the past year. This he said will further encourage and energise others to be active towards the growth of Nigeria’s blue economy.

The awards which was held at the weekend in Lagos, also saw the recognisation of stakeholders that have distinguished themselves in various categories such as Maritime Education and Training Institute of the Year 2017, Manning Agent of the Year 2017 and the agency’s best staff of the year as well as some others who have meritoriously served the agency for numerous years among others.

The DG also stated that the initiative is in line with the repositioning and restructuring drive of the current leadership of the agency for the growth of the industry which is geared towards fostering a better relationship between the agency and its key stakeholders.

Dr. Dakuku Peterside commended the awardees especially the long serving members of staff of the agency for their efforts in building a viable maritime industry in Nigeria over the years through their selfless service and dedication. He charged the winners and all other stakeholders to continue to do more for the growth of the industry, as the awards represent a call to double their efforts.

“Today we will be honouring some of our best. We will be honouring those who have distinguished themselves, those who have laboured late at night to ensure that ships sail safe and berth on our shores. We will also be honouring industry stakeholders that have also contributed to the growth of this industry; every day by the little things we do, we contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy. We are a major oil producing nation, but if our oil is not shipped out of this country, we would not bring any value to that God given gift, and so, we play different roles”, the DG said.

Dr. Peterside also charged the staff of NIMASA to redouble their efforts in order to ensure that the tempo is sustained while he reiterated the Agency’s continued penchant for capacity building.

“On our part as Management, we will ensure training remains priority and we enjoin all staff to key to the repositioning agenda of the current leadership of the Agency as this is the only way to ensure consistent growth and development of individuals and by extension the maritime sector,” he stressed.

The NIMASA boss called on stakeholders to continue to support the cause of the agency in repositioning the Nigeria maritime sector in line with global best practices and assured that there are better days ahead, saying “All I can say to you is that there are better days ahead; NIMASA can never go back to those dark days, it will be better in each passing day”.

He also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi and the NIMASA Board led by Major General Jonathan India Garba (Rtd) both of who were present for their unrelenting support in the day to day running of the agency.

The high point was the presentation of a plaque and a cheque of N1million (one million naira) to the best staff of the year, 2017; Mr. Titus Ajayi from the Finance Department.

In attendance at the occasion were Oba of Lagos, His Royal Highness, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige among several others.