The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has urged Nigerians to partner with the Agency to ensure a virile maritime industry as the activities of the Agency impact on the lives of all Nigerians. This is given the fact that virtually every product used by Nigerians comes through the Sea and NIMASA is the government Agency saddled with the responsibility of ensuring seamless and secured sea transportation, without negative impact on the environment.
The DG made this call during a breakfast meeting with media stakeholders held in Lagos. He said that the essence of the Agency’s continuous interaction with the media was in recognition of the role they play in information dissemination and in educating the public. He charged them on professionalism to generate sufficient and accurate information on issues to advance credible and reliable reportage to elicit trust and hope in the public.
He further urged them to use their platform to educate the public on the activities of NIMASA stating that it will create awareness on the Agency’s strides to advance the maritime industry for the growth of the Nigerian economy.
According to the DG “A lot of Nigerians have various misconceptions about NIMASA and its activities, hence the need for synergy with the media. We are regulating the maritime sector on behalf of Nigerians with the backing of the Federal Government to ensure that we advance our maritime sector. NIMASA is charged with the responsibility of regulating shipping activities and the promotion of indigenous shipping in Nigeria. 90% of world trade is by sea and 65% of vessels heading to Africa visit Nigeria. By this we have the responsibility of ensuring safe and secure transportation of goods and services to Nigeria” he said.
Dr. Peterside said that the present management of the Agency which was given the mandate of restructuring, repositioning and reforming the maritime sector by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi has taken strategic steps to ensure that the mandate is achieved in line with the Administration’s change Agenda.
In his words “to ensure that our mandate is achieved, we developed a medium term strategic plan with five pillars viz; Survey, inspection and certification transformation; environment, security, search and rescue transformation initiative; Digital transformation strategy; capacity building initiative and cultural and structural reform”.
The Director General noted that the steps taken are yielding results and this is evident in the reduction of piracy and other sea related crimes in the Nigerian territorial waters.
Dakuku also stated that the Agency is in the process of rebranding and that the New NIMASA brand would be unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 20th of April, 2017. This would coincide with the meeting of the Association of African Heads of Maritime Administrations to be hosted by the Agency in conjunction with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Abuja from 19th -21st of April 2017. The DG said with the hosting of the event, Nigeria is set to become a leading voice in the comity of maritime Nations especially as the country seeks election into the category C of the IMO Council seat in November, 2017.
In response, to the DG’s comments, the Chairman of the Association of Radio News Managers, Mr. Charles Kalu commended Dr. Peterside for his achievements within a short time of assumption of duty, he said that as a pressure group, meetings of this nature would help them during their reportage. He also appealed to the DG to look for avenues on the various media platforms to reach out to the public.
It should be noted that NIMASA was established by the merger of the defunct Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) and the Nigerian Maritime Authority (NMA) in 2007 to regulate shipping and shipping activities as well as promote indigenous participation in shipping.