By Stephen Ubanna
Barely one week for President Muhammadu Buhari who had appointed Bashir Jamoh, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, on March 10, 2020, to handover to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state and thePresident-elect on the platform of ruling All progressive Congress, APC, the NMASA, Director General, appears to have taken a step to honor the outgoing Nigerian President with new maritime security projects.
The NIMASA, Director General, may have taken a cue from Aliko Dangote, President, Dangote Industries, whose company’s $19 billion Refinery and Petrochemical plant located at the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre was Commissioned by the Katsina state born Nigerian President on Monday, May 22, 2023, to also Commission some security enhancing projects at its Apapa operational base that would further enhance security at the Nigerian maritime domain.
While the Nigerian President had given priority to the Dangote refinery and Petrochemical plant as a project dear to his heart to Commission it, Mua’u Jaji Sambo, an Engr. and minister of Transportation , was said to have Commissioned the newly acquired security gadgets expected’’ to enhance Communication between the agency operational base at Apapa and vessels in Nigerian waters,. The Commissioned NIMASA security facilities by the minister of Transportation included five enforcement boats and four ferries.
The outgoing minister of Transportation was said to have also Commissioned an ultra-modern Search and Rescue Base clinic, a multi-purpose hall and an Administrative block that was said to have been built by the Jamoh led NIMASA Management at the agency Kirikiri operational base.
The Taraba state born politician and minister of Transportation , who could not hide his feelings over the impressive performance of Jamoh, the NIMASA , Chief Executive Officer, CEO, and his Management Team , over the last three years , had said that ‘’the new facilities would have tremendous positive impacts on the agency Blue economy project’’, particular, now that the government is seeking more vibrant ways of diversifying the nation’s economy.
He was emphatic that ‘’maritime remains the catalysts for the country’s growth’’, stressing that ‘’we must do all we can to ensure that the sector remains viable to local and foreign investors’’. He noted that that ‘’if the country want to benefit from the potentials of the Blue economy, we must be able ‘’to invent wheel that would boost the confidence of investors in the country’s maritime domain ‘’.
Engr.Sambo, the minister of Transportation , had told stakeholders at the Commissioning of the Communication gadgets and buildings that the agency efforts to bring the projects to fruition would make significant positive impacts on the decisions of investors in the nation’s maritime domain.
The minister was said to have given special attention to the enforcement boats in his speech. Hear him: I am aware of the impact these boats would have in NIMASA, achieving its regulatory mandate as enshrined in the Law setting up the agency.
According to him, with the Commissioning of the five enforcement boats, would force those who have plans of carrying out nefarious activities like the Pirates and sea thieves in the country ‘s maritime domain this time around to have a rethink to avoid playing into Jamoh’s men hand patrolling the Nigerian waters on a daily basis.
He averred that the NIMASA, additional security platforms would go a long way ‘’to enforce Compliance of regulations’’, noting that it would also further’’ enhance security in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea in order for maritime businesses to thrive’’.
Jamoh, the NIMASA, CEO, who was said to have been welcomed to the podium with a resounding applause to speak by stake holders at the all-important event, had said that that the Commissioned security boats would ensure that ‘’the agency sustains its leadership role in the African Continent maritime sector’’ .
He opined that going by what the agency has achieved over the last three years, its maritime security architecture would continue to be felt in the Gulf of Guinea and entire African maritime sector. G
The agency may have have embarked on the multi-million dollar investments in the Communication gadgets, alongside the enforcement boats , not only add more value to the country’s maritime security architecture , but also enhance its primary role of Port and Flag State Administration .
He asserted that ‘’the Search and Rescue Base Clinic built by the agency was to meet the basic requirements of the International Maritime Organisation , a United Nation, UN’s maritime agency, since Nigeria is host to the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center for the West and Central African sub-regions.
He was said to have stated that ‘’maritime cannot thrive without effective Search and Rescue , to ensure that when accidents occur , the agency would be able respond promptly’’. Giving an inside information of the SAR, for the West and Central African sub-regions, he disclosed that it is domiciled in Nigeria but the agency still have SARBC, to complement its activities in the two regions.
He may have gladdened the heart of stakeholders when he confirmed that the agency has upgraded the SAR clinic to the standards that would ensure that it meets up with rescue centers of global repute.
Describing the agency Search and Rescue clinic as another giant stride of the current Management Team for the country’s maritime sector, because it meets international standards and could serve more purposes of taking more patients within and outside the maritime sector, he insists that ‘’the issue of health must always be at the front burner’’ at the nation’s maritime sector.
Last week, Jamoh and his Management had achieved a major feat at Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, as its newly acquired office was Commissioned by Engr. Sambo, the minister of Transportation . The Commissioning of the newly acquired , office, at the FCT, Osagie Edward, an Assistant Director and the agency spokesperson, had said would bring to an ‘’end a decade of operating from a rented facility at the FCT.