NIMASA DG, assured Maritime Stakeholders of Development of the Sector

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L-R: Former Minister of Interior and Managing Director, Integrated Oil and Gas, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho; Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Dr. Dayo Mobereola; Vice Chairperson, ENL Consortium Dr. Vicky Haastrup and President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adewale Adeyanju. During the Maiden Interactive Session of maritime stakeholders with the DG/CEO NIMASA in Lagos on Thursday.

By Innocent Orok

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola has assured stakeholders in the Nigerian maritime sector of inclusivity towards the development of the sector.

The NIMASA DG who made this assertion during an interactive session with maritime stakeholders in Lagos, noted that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu through the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy is urging stakeholders to partner with the government in developing the sector.

Accordingly, he said, “It is important that we develop clear objectives, goals, and strategies to advance the industry and align with the vision of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy. While the Agency will continue to play its part in serving the industry, it is important that we all collaborate to achieve a sustainable maritime sector, as all efforts should be inclusive and collective”.

Additionally, the Director General seized the opportunity to reassure shipowners that the Agency is committed to expediting the automation of the ship registry, a move that will significantly boost shipping development in Nigeria by enhancing efficiency and streamlining processes.

Earlier in his, welcome address, Captain Iheanacho, a former Nigerian Minister of Interior and chairman of the occasion, expressed the industry’s delight at the appointment of Mobereola, whom he described as a seasoned and accomplished maritime professional. He noted that Mobereola’s extensive experience and expertise will be invaluable in driving the administration and development of the Nigerian maritime industry forward.

He expressed optimism that under the current leadership of the Agency, Nigeria would make significant strides in promoting ship safety, shipping development, maritime security, and environmental sustainability in our waters. He noted that Mobereola’s dedication to capacity building will undoubtedly position Nigeria as a key player in the global maritime industry.

He added that stakeholders are willing to collaborate with the DG to move the sector forward. “We expect the DG to be fully aware of the impact of technological developments in the Marine and Blue Economy industry, to guide in the formulation of policies to be developed. We look forward to working together with you to address the challenges ahead and to seize the opportunities that lie before us”, Iheanacho said.

Captain Iheanacho acknowledged the hard work, resilience and determination of past Directors-General and other stakeholders who were present, noting that their commitments contributed to the robust framework from which the Agency and the maritime industry at large are benefiting.

In his presentation titled; Marine and Blue Economy: Navigating to the Promised Land, Dr. Akabogu, a maritime lawyer, proposed various reforms including policy and agenda verification, enhanced data and technology utilization, minimum industry standards, deliberate recruitment of professionals, empowerment protocols, development of standard shipping development courses, and accountability measures for NIMASA and the industry as a whole. He emphasized the need for routine meetings based on clear identifiable milestones to drive accountability and progress for the sector.

On her part, Princess Vicky Haastrup, the President of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), emphasized the critical importance of dockworkers in the industry. “Where there are no dockworkers, there are no ships”, she said. Therefore, the training of dockworkers is very critical.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, the President General of the Nigerian Maritime Workers Union (MWUN), who supported Haastrup’s position, emphasized the importance of continually training dockworkers and ensuring a decent work agenda, in line with the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006.

Alhaji Aminu Umar, who spoke on behalf of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria, emphasized the need for further discussions and interactions regarding the International advancements in the maritime industry. He urged the Director-General to consider the independence of the Ship Registry as observed in other maritime countries.

The various women’s associations in the industry; WISTA, WIMOWCA, WILAT, who were represented by Mrs. Tosan Emore-Edodo advocated for increased participation of women in the industry and called for support in promoting advocacy efforts.

Past Directors General of NIMASA who attended the event; Dr. Ade Dosunmu, Architect Ferdinand Agu, Barrister Temisan Omatseye; as well as former Board Chairman of NIMASA, Mr. Tijjani Ramalan, all pledged their support for the current administration.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, was also present at the event, which had representation from the Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), Association of Master Mariners, Ship Building and Ship Repair Association, among others.

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