A former Head of State of Nigeria, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has noted that it is high time alternative sources of revenue were developed for the nation, observing that the maritime sector is well positioned to do so. Abubakar, who spoke ahead of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Maritime Awards, also commended efforts by the Agency to motivate stakeholders and staff. He said this would help them take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the economy.
”It is time to develop other alternative sources of revenue for the nation and the maritime sector is well positioned to do so. What NIMASA is doing in the industry and the Awards are quite in line to motivate stakeholders and staff to take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the economy,” General Abubakar said.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed that the successes recorded so far in the maritime sector were as a result of the cooperation of the stakeholders in the industry with the Agency.
The DG added that the award was part of the efforts to celebrate and reward excellence in the Nigerian maritime industry and to also encourage more local participation in the shipping business as well as draw attention to the vast opportunities in the sector for both foreign and local investors to grow the blue economy, which is now the focus of global investments.
“As an Agency, we recognise the role of our stakeholders in our drive to realise a robust maritime sector; without the stakeholders, there will be no NIMASA and by extension, no maritime industry. We are therefore hopeful that in the coming years, we will continue to work assiduously to meet the yearnings of the industry as we hope to engage more in collaboration, so that all of us can boast of a robust maritime sector,” Dr. Dakuku said.
The past year was quite eventful for the maritime industry under Dakuku, as many important milestones were recorded. Among them are the provision of sea time for over 500 cadets; the arrival of the modular floating dockyard that will create capacity and help retain multimillion dollars in-country for through vessel maintenance; and the midwifing of the collective bargaining agreement for industrial harmony with improved wages and entitlements for maritime workers.
The Agency also championed the change of terms of trade from Free on Board (FOB) to Cost Insurance and Freight (CIF), to enable local participation of Nigerian shipping firms in the crude oil business to create wealth and employment; for the first time, NIMASA initiated a maritime industry forecast aimed at providing direction for industry players.
The event, which is scheduled for Saturday, January 12, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, is expected to attract dignitaries from all walks of life, among who are Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is billed to chair the event, and the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who is the host.
Also expected are the Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Enugu, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi and Borno states, as well as Honourable Ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Others expected to attend are Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola, Dr. (Mrs.) Nike Akande, as well as royal fathers, including His Highness, the Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, top government officials, National Assembly members, and members of the diplomatic corps.
The award categories include Shipping Company of the Year 2018 (Dry Cargo), Shipping Company of the Year 2018 (Wet Cargo), Maritime Education and Training Institute of the Year 2018, Manning Agent of the Year 2018, and Seafarers’ Employer of the Year 2018.
Staff of the Agency will be honoured for outstanding performance and an Employee of the Year will be picked from the 11 winners of the Employee of the Month awards from January to November 2018.
It would be recalled that at last year’s event, Maersk Nigeria Limited, Gulf Agency Company (GAC) Nigeria Ltd, Charkins Maritime, and Offshore Safety Centre, among others, were duly recognised with corporate and industry awards.