By Stephen Ubanna
The dearth of knowledge based reference materials and periodicals for research works in the knowledge based Nigerian maritime industry to properly tackle the Security, Maritime development, Shipping development and other challenges within the next four years may have informed why Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Ngerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency , NIMASA, has taken up the bold initiative to establish a functional e-library for the agency.
He may have further been encouraged to establish the e- Library because of his unwavering Commitment to Capacity- building .The NIMASA e-Library which is situated at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development , Centre, NMRDC, in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, was said to have been officially launched amidst celebration in the busy agency.
The NIMASA Director General may have found it convenient to site the knowledge based e-Library because of the location as it was designed as a training institution for the nation’s maritime industry. Described to be in the category of the Armed Forces Command and Staff Collge, Jaji, Kaduna state, north west Nigeria, which serves as a training facility for the security agencies personnel, Jamoh, the NIMASA, boss is optimistic that’’ the purpose of establishing the facility would be realised’’.
Giving an insider information of the e-Library, he disclosed that it was designed with a 44-apartment guest house where Faculties and students can students can reside comfortably to do their research work without any distraction.
The e-Library project , was said to have been setup by the Jamoh led NIMASA Management in less than one year of mounting the saddle as the Director General of the agency with the expiration of the first term in office, which is four years, of Dakuku Peterside , his predecessor but not renewed for a second term by President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, government.
Note that he was elevated from the position of the agency Executive Director , Finance andAdmministration and to the enviable position of the Director General last March to sustain the tempo of development in the industry initiated under the previous Managent because of his deep knowledge of the industry.
An elated Jamoh, who could not hide his feelings had said while declaring open the e- Library, that ‘’as a knowledge –based industry with huge opportunities, the agency has no option but but to opn up such a Library in order y to encourage more research work in the nation’s maritime sector to enable it reach its full potential’’. The good news was that the NMRDC, where the e-Library was located has a world-class training centre and other facilities, which the NIMASA Director General said , ‘’can compete with the best of such facilities in any other maritime nation. Or Training Institution.
Jamoh, who was the Author of the seven chapter book,’’ Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets’’, described as’’ a great insight into the nation’s maritime industry and moral courage’’ by Vanguard Newspapers, which was based on extensive research work had said that the agency could not afford to be left behind in this knowledge-based industry.
This may have informed why he upgraded the agency research Library at NMRDC, beyond the physical looks to the electronic one, which is in vogue in major maritime organisations and Training Institutions the world over.
Many believe that the virtual nature of the Library would make the accessibility of reading materials seamless from any part of the world with a touch of the button on one’s phone . The NIMASA Director General who may have done his calculation before going into the venture is optimistic that it would help the country to diversify its economy and reduce considerably its dependence on oil sales for its Foreign Exchange earnings.
An eyewitness Account who watched the launching of the Maritime Regulatory agency e-Library, disclosed that it is stuffed with the latest e-maritime books including the . International Maritime Organistation , IM, publications and operating laws. The NIMASA Director General who was accompanied in the official opening of the e-Library by some of the Management Team members had alluded to the fact that the Library was equipped ‘’to bridge the knowledge gap in the industry’’.
He noted that ‘’by the official opening of the agency e-Library, it has shown beyond rhetoric that ‘’the agency is committed to bequeathing treasured assets to Nigeria, Africa and the global maritime Community in general’’. Among the members of the Management who were said to have joined the Director General in Comissioning the e-Library were Shehu Ahmed, Executive Director Operations, Anthony Ogadi, who was said to have represented Chudi Ofodile, Executive Director, Finance and Administration and Aisha Askira, the Head of the agency Library.
Given a clue as to why the agency invested in the knowlege based facility, the NIMASA BOSS said ‘’it would help to preserve the nation’s maritime history and advance the industry , as it would warehouse lotS of reference materials’’. Hear him: Libraries are not just facilities for warehousing books and periodicals but they are also important cornerstones of a healthy Community. He noted that’’ it is more than being storage spaces for books, as it serves as centres of learning , Professional development and healthcare, among other benefits’’.
Philip Kaynet, a Deputy Director and the agency Head of Corporate Communications who had described the establishment of the e-Librar ‘’as a welcome development said it will encourage the bright minds in the agency to speech up their research works and come out with results as the reference materials needed for their work are now within their reach’’.
Many believe thatJamoh, the NIMASA, Director General, who enjoys reading and writing may be challenged to write another maritime book being at the helms of Affairs the agency which exposed him to the operations of the nation’s maritime industry, particular, tackling piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Gulf of Guinea.
Until Jamoh came up with the idea of the e-Library for NIMASA, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, under the close watch of Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, had such a facility which had warehoused archival materials including pictures of the Authority and the Premier port, Apapa, since its establishment in 19954 and other related reference materials as well as vi the video clips. The Authority had lost all the archival materials to hoodlums who invaded the Corporate Headquarters at Marina , Lagos, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, in the guise of the END SARS protest and set ablaze some floors of the six story building including the first floor where the reference materials are warehoused. It was a big blow to the agency as Rotimi Amaechi, minister of Transportation, who had visited the NPA building to see things himself, after several weeks of the unfortunate attack, had said that the attackers must be brought to book. A political talk , you call it.