NIMASA: Gathering Of Maritime Experts, Industry stakeholders In Lagos,   To Brainstorm On How To Move Sector Forward

By Stephen Ubanna

  Dayo Omoberaola, a –one Commissioner of Transportation under Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  and now Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA,  appears to have hit the ground running.

 The new NIMASA, Director General, who wants to chart a new course for the agency was aid to have gathered some former Chief Executive officers, CEOs, of the Maritime Regulatory Agency and other industry stakeholders in Lagos, on Thursday, May 9, 2024, where he was said to have assured the industry stakeholders of’’ inclusivity towards the development of the nation’s maritime sector’’.

The NIMASA, high profile event was said to have brought together the likes of Ade Dosumu,   Architect Ferdinand Agu,  Temisam Oatseye, a Lawyer and all former Chief Executive Officer, CEOs, of the agency,  including Tijjani, a former Chairman of the maritime octopus.

. Bashir Jamoh, the immediate past CEO, of the agency, and Dakuku  Peterside, another former Director General were  said to be unavoidably absent.  Recall that during Jamoh’s Administration, Dosumu, an erstwhile CEO, of the agency, according to informed sources was said to be the   only former CEO, of the agency who was said to havecome out openly to support him in actualizing his Maritime Safety, Maritime Security and Ship Development agenda, popular, the 3S, in maritime circles.

Mobereola: DG, NIMASA

Mobereola, who do not want to go  below what he had met on ground in office, during an interactive  section with the industry stakeholders was said to have alluded to the fact that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state,  on the recommendations of Oyetola  Adegbeyoga,  a former governor of Osun state and now minister of Marine and Blue Economy,  had appointed him to pilot the affairs of the nation’s maritime sector  for a purpose, urging the industry stakeholders , particular, the former CEOs, to partner with him in developing the maritime sector .

Hear him: it is important that we develop clear objectives, goals and strategies to advance the maritime industry and align with the vision of the Nigerian President and the minister of Marine and Blue Economy  to achieve  a sustainable maritime sector, stressing that ‘’all efforts should be inclusive and collective’’.

The NIMASA helmsman may have taken a cue from the minister on assumption of office last August, who had called for collective efforts by industry stakeholders to harness the potentials of the thcountry’s maritime sector’’ to organize the NIMASA  world class event.  The minister may have set a new agenda for both  the former and in-coming NIMASA boss, when he pointed out that the country’s maritime sector should move to the next level of ensuring that ‘’the agency implement  everything  that has been outlined in one  Fadipe, his book  for’’ the overall benefit of the nation’’. 

The minister had stressed  the need  for an ‘’actionable  steps  and the implementation  of insights  from the  Fadipe’s book  calling for a shift   from crude oil  dependence  to promoting  the maritime sector  for the country’s benefit  as obtained in the Asian country of China, North American country of the United States, US, United Kingdom, Netherlands and other maritime nations.

He was emphatic that ‘’in order to add value to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and economic growth,’’ it is expedient that the nation’s maritime sector be given keen attention’’. The new NIMASA, boss may have heard this at the back of his mind when he told the indigenous ship-owners at the Lagos maritime  gathering that  he  is committed   ‘’to expediting the automation  of the nation’s ship registry’’,  a move , he had said  ‘’will significantly  boost  shipping development  in Nigeria, the most populous country in the African Continent , by enhancing  efficiency  and streamlining processes’’. 

Mobereola, DG, NIMASA, Capt. Iheanacho and four others

Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, a retired Merchant Navy Captain and  former minister of Transportation during  former President  Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration,  and  who was said to have    Chairman the Mobereola organized NIMASA talk-shop event  , had used the occasion  to express the industry’s delight  at the appointment of the current NIMASA Director General,   whom he had described  as ‘’a seasoned  and accomplished maritime professional’’.

The former minister of Transportation had said that Moberola’s  extensive  experience  and expertise in maritime activities  will  be  invaluable  in ‘’driving  the country’s maritime  Administration  and development of the sector to international standard’’.

He was said to have expressed optimism that under the current Leadership of NIMASA, ‘’Nigeria would make significant strides   in promoting ship safety, maritime security, and environmental sustainability in the nation’s waters and the Gulf of Guinea’’.

The former minister may have gladdened the heart of industry stakeholders when he asserted that Mobereola’s dedication   ‘’to capacity building will undoubtedly reposition Nigeria   as a key player in the global maritime economy’’. He may have given the new NIMASA cause to be cheery when he disclosed that the industry stakeholders are willing ‘’to collaborate with him to succeed and move the sector forward.

He was said to have urged the new NIMASA helmsman who is coming from both the public and the private sectors of the economy, within and outside thee country ‘’to be aware of the impact of technological developments in the Marine and Blue Economy industry in order ‘’ to guide him in the formulation of policies to be developed’’.

He was said to have capped his speech by stating that the industry operators ‘’look forward to working together with the new NIMASA, Director General, to address the challenges   ahead and to seize the opportunities that lie before them’’.

 The former minister, described as an eloquent speaker, in maritime circles, was said to have also put smiles on the former CEOs of the agency who were present at the event when he ‘’acknowledged their hard work, resilience and determination while in office’’, noting that their commitments   had contributed ‘’to the robust teamwork from which the agency   and the nation’s maritime industry, at large are benefitting.

 Emeka  Akabogu, a Maritime Lawyer, in his presentation, titled Marine and Blue Economy: Navigating the promised land during the occasion, was  said to have 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 that should be carried out  by Mobereola and his Management team. The maritime Lawyer was said to have  also emphasized the need  for  routine  meetings  based  on clear  identifiable  milestones  to drive  accountability  and progress   for the sector. 

Vicky Hastrup. President of Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria, STOAN, who was said to have stressed the importance of dockworkers in the nation’s maritime sector, noted that a country ‘’where there are no dockworkers, shows that ‘’there are no ships, insisting that the training of dockworkers is critical for the industry to grow.

Adewale Adeyanju, President Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, had corroborated what the STOAN president had said   and further stressing the importance of continually training dockworkers   and ensuring   a decent work agenda, in line with the Maritime Labour Convention, MLC, 2006.

Aminu Umar, who was said to have spoken on behalf of the ship-owners Association of Nigeria was said to have emphasized the need    for further discussions and interactions between NISA and the industry stakeholders regarding international advancements in the nation’s maritime industry.  Aminu, who could not his feelings was said to have urged the new NIMASA boss ‘’to consider the independence of the country’s ship registry   as obtained in other International Maritime Organization, IMO, member countries’’.

Mrs. Tosan Emore-Edodo, who was said to have spoken on behalf of the various women’s associations in the nation’s maritime sector, like WISTA, WIMOWCA, and WIPLAT, was said to have taken advantage of the opportunity provided for her to  speak  during the occasion   ‘’ to canvas for increased participation of women in the nation’s maritime sector’’.  She was said to also called for support in ‘’promoting advocacy efforts’’.

 Mustapha Hassan, a Rear Admiral and Flag Officer Commanding, FOC, Western Naval Command, was said to have made a presentation from the Nigerian Maritime Law Association, Association of Master Mariners, Ship Building and Ship Repair Associations, among others, with a promise ‘’to strengthen the robust working relationship with NIMASA’’.                     

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