L-R: Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services, Mr Gambo Ahmed, Director General, Ghana Maritime Authority, Mr Kwame Owusu, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration & Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr Dakuku Peterside, Executive Director, Administration and Finance, NIMASA, Mr Bashir Jamoh and the Executive Director, Operations, Engr. Rotimi Fasshakin at the signing of MoU between the agencies representing Nigeria and Ghana at the NIMASA Resource Centre, Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos, 16 October 2017.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU, with the Ghanaian Maritime Authority, GMA in the area of promoting maritime operations in line with its vision to enhance regional integration with a view to developing capacity.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside , who spoke at the official signing of the MoU at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre in Lagos, Monday, noted that the Maritime Operations pact, would among several others boost intra-African collaboration.

Recall that Peterside was elected president of the Association of African Maritime Administrations AAMA at the 3rd edition of the association’s conference held in April in Abuja, during which he pledged to work towards the integration of the region to facilitate optimum utilisation of the continent’s vast resources embedded in the marines and oceans also called the blue economy.

According to him, such cooperation and collaboration among African nations remain a vital requirement for the region to effectively harness the natural potential that abounds within the blue economy in the continent.

He said: ”African countries must cooperate to address the challenges peculiar to the continent.  All maritime nations on the African continent have comparative advantage in different areas, and only collaboration will ensure that we complement one another, thus ensuring that the maritime sector contribute effectively to the growth of the continent”.

The NIMASA-boss also noted that Nigeria and Ghana have a historical link in the maritime industry, adding that Africa’s maritime industry is richly endowed to the extent that coastal and aquatic ecosystems within the continent are treasures that provide diverse and vibrant natural resources.

The NIMASA DG who doubles as chairman of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations commended the management of Ghana Maritime Authority for seeking the collaboration.

He noted that the move will go a long way to strengthen efforts in the areas of promotion of scientific and technical cooperation; trade and movement facilitation; exchange of information, data, and knowledge and share experiences.

“The importance of bilateral cooperation to solve maritime environmental challenges that transcend international boundaries in our coastal and aquatic ecosystem cannot be overemphasised. We are ready, and will give our supports to tackle all associated maritime challenges that have over time impede and slow the region’s maritime sectoral progress. We are ready to work with Ghana in all fronts within our defined and enabling capacities. NIMASA will not relent or derelict its duties and responsibilities within the contemplation of this MoU”, the DG said.

Meanwhile, Director General of the GMA, Mr. Kwama Owusu commended NIMASA and its management for the role of championing the growth of the maritime sector in the sub-region in particular and in Africa in general.

The Ghana maritime-boss also thanked NIMASA management,  adding that the MoU would bring about constructive and healthy competition within the West African sub-region, as Ghana would continue to cross-fertilise ideas with Nigeria in the needed areas and at the same time learn from NIMASA as regards critical functional areas of maritime operations as encapsulated in the MoU.

Details of the pact show that it is a renewable MoU, with a life span of four years and is made up of knowledge transfer and sharing initiative between both agencies.

Others include joint capacity building initiative; Coastal and Inland Shipping Cabotage enforcement, joint study initiative; joint comparative research initiative and joint efforts to combat piracy and terrorism.

The management of the GMA had early in the year visited the NIMASA on a fact finding mission with the aim of ascertaining areas of possible collaboration and cooperation.