By Suleiman Umarru
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, home state of Asiwaju Boola Tinubu, All Progressive Congress APC, National Leader, has called for improved certification regime for boat skippers and better regulation of the operations of non-convention vessels that operate in the country inland waterways .
Sanwo-Olu, who could not his feelings was said to have made the call while receiving Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who was on a working visit, to the state on Tuesday, February 9, 2021, in Government House, Alausa. The Lagos state governor was said to have told Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General, that an ‘’improved utilisation of Lagos waterways will go a long way in easing the traffic congestion on roads in the state’’.
In apparent response to Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor’s appeal for improved utilization of the state Inland waterways, Jamoh the NIMASA boss, was said to have told him that the agency will effectively collaborate with the state government ‘’in the areas of capacity development to improve maritime regulation’’, thus, ‘’promoting the blue economy which has the capacity of creating wealth for the nation’’.
The NIMASA Chief Executive Officer, CEO, may have won the heart of Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor and the Chief mourner of two former governors of the state, Ndubusi Godwin Kanu, a retired Rear Admiral, who ruled the state as a Military Administrator and Lateef Jakande, popular, Baba Kekere, the first Civilian governor of the state who died recently, over his Statement that the agency will Cooperate with the state government in the areas of capacity development to improve maritime regulation.
The governor had said that ‘’the training and certification of operators of Non- Convention Vessels operating in the state inland waterways remains key to improved safety of operations in the country’s waters.
H disclosed that the his government is close ‘’to delivering 15 new jetties and terminals to enhance waterways transportation in the state and called on the Jamoh led Maritime agency ‘’to consider partnering with the private sector for a more effective regulation and certification of small boat operators’’`.
In turn, the Lagos state governor may have gladden the heart of the NIMASA Director General when he declared that the agency has done well in regulating the operations of large vessels calling at the nation’s waters, which is very necessary for the nation’s economic wel-lbeing.
He noted that considering the activities of small crafts in the country’s inland waterways, particular, Lagos state, where ‘’the people desire improved regulation of operations in terms of certification, which is part of the agency Statutory responsibility.
. It is not surprising why he had repeatedly appealed to NIMASA,’’to consider partnering with the private sector for strict supervision of the small crafts in order to improve certification of operators in the inland waterways.
The good news was that he had acknowledged the incumbent NIMASA Director General of having adequate knowledge of the nation’s maritime industry. He was said to have listed areas that the Lagos state government and NIMASA could Collaborate to ensure that Nigerians benefit from the Blue economy such as water hyacinth management, wreck removal, and deep seaports development.
Aware of the establishment of the then President Goodluck Jonathan establishment of a Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta state, south-south Nigeria, at the instance of NIMASA, Sanwo-Olu, may have taken advantage of Jamoh, the agncy Director General visit to declare the state’s interest in hosting a campus of the maritime University.
The NIMASA CEO, in turn, may have told the Lagos state governor that apart from the two parties Collaborating in the areas of water hyacinth management, wrecks removal and deep seaports development, they could also partner in human capacity development, fishing industry development, and marine waste management, that are ‘’all geared towards harnessing the nation’s potentials in the blue economy’’.
Until the Lagos government declared its willingness to partner with the Jamoh led Maritime Regulatory agency, it was aleady collaborating with some other littoral states, like Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Ondo states. The NIMASA Director General may have made the Lagos state governor to understand t that “90% of maritime crimes are conceived on land’’, noting that the state had done so much in terms of security on land which has a multiplier effect on the security of the maritime domain in the Lagos area.
It is not surprising why Jamoh had said that ‘’the agency needs alliances to develop policies that would ensure thatNigeria effectively harnesses its potentials in the blue economy. There is no gainsaying the fact that the Lagos State has comparative advantage over other states in the country. This may have informed why Jamoh had consistently said that ‘’the agency is willing and ready to partner with Lagos State Government at any time.”