NIMASA: Jamoh, A Master Strategist, Blue Economy Alternative To Oil Revenue

By Stephen Ubana

Aware that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has a statutory mandate to fulfil, may have informed why Bashir Jamoh, the Director General and his Management Team, have organised a 3-day Management retreat to restrategise ‘ ‘to achieve its mandate’’.

This appears to be the first time that Jamoh, the NIMASA, Director General, who was honoured with the Officer of the Federal Republic, OFR, by President Muhammadu Buhari, alongside 447 other Nigerians and friends of Nigeria , last October, and his Management team , would hold such a retreat since  the new Management was inaugurate on March 10, 2020 . Previous retreats may have been organised by the ministry for Chief of Executives Officers of the Parastatals under the ministry and other top officials of the ministry but not at the agency level.

In his opening remarks, Jamoh, the NIMASA, CEO, had told  members of the agency Management team   that ‘‘there is need  for ‘’continuous  internal  stakeholders  retreat’’ to rub minds in order to  evaluate their performance  as a key component  of the Buhari Administration and to help achieve a successful implementation  of its tripod  mandate: Maritime Safety, Maritime Security  and Shipping Development for the betterment of the nation’s maritime sector.

NIMASA 3-Day Retreat

He insists that in order  ‘’to achieve  its statutory responsibility , ‘‘the agency requires  collective efforts from all stakeholders, which will in turn  help  drive investor’s confidence  in engaging in businesses  in the sector’’.

Speaking as a maritime expert, which what  he is and as someone who knows his onions,  the NMASA boss ,  had described ‘’shipping   as crucial to the global economy , as was exemplified  during the Asian country of China emerged corona virus, popular, COVID19, where virtually all sectors of the global economy as grounded, excluding the shipping industry’’.

He was said to have alluded to the fact that ‘’the Pandemic had made them to focus on driving the agenda of the Buhari Administration in making the Nigerian maritime sector to be attractive to investors’’. He noted that the Pandemic also gave the agency the opportunity to keep building on the capacity of the staff ‘’to make them compete favourably with their counterparts in other maritime nations within the African Continent, Europe, Asian, North and South American’’.

An elated Jamoh, who  had gathered his Management team together  for a 3-day retreat,  had enjoined  the Management statff ‘’to move with  the trend in order  ‘’to meet up  with modern  day realities in ensuring that  the  Nigerian maritime  sector  is in tandem  with other maritime nations’’.

He had said that with the global uncertainty due to largely to the ongoing Ukraine- Russian war, which had entered its ninth 9th-months, and adapting to the new  way of doing business brought  unto humanity  by the COVID 19, Pandemic  which may have led to the weakening of the global economy, had seen  ‘‘the Blue Economy hold the future for Nigeria’’.

An initiative  of  NIMASA,Jamoh, the agency CEO, ad repeatedly told those that cares to listen that ‘‘the Blue Economy  has the capability of replacing  oil as the mainstay of the nation’s economy, stressing that it is one programme  that is going to involve more Nigerians-as individuals, communities, and the  various levels of government.

Besides the fact that the litoral states that lie  on the Atlantic coast which directly  bear the natural  disasters like  ocean surge, flooding, which is currently happening in the south- south states of  Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers , Cross river and some parts of Ondo,   and other adverse effects of Climate chang. He noted that  other states in the north central , north east and north west geopolitical regions of the country, he had said  will also benefit  from the Blue Economy.   

 It was not surprising why he has urged the industry Leaders ‘‘to embrace the use of the technology in the nation’s maritime sector and endeavor to acquire new kills in –demand’’. He was emphatic that ‘’it is the only way that Nigerian can provide leadership in the African maritime sector.

Osagie Edward, an Asistant Director, and the agency Head of  Adverts,Brands and Media, who has been following the activities of the Jamoh’s Administration since he assumed office in March 10, 2020,  had said  that he had  ‘’adopted continuous  stakeholders Management across board  in the quest to realize the agency statutory mandate.  The NIMASA, Assistant Director, had said that the Management rethreat, 2022,  has an eight –year plan  made up of short, medium and long –term clearly stated goals aimed  at enhancing  the performance of the agency.

Going by the definition of the World Bank, ‘’the Blue Economy  is a sustainable  use of the ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and creation of more jobs while preserving  the health  of ocean ecosystem’’ but the European  Commission  had defined it  as ‘’all economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts’’ which covers a wide range  of interlinked  established  and emerging sectors.

 The Commonwealth of Nations, on its part, considers it as an emerging concept that encourages better stewardship of our ocean and Blue resources’’. The United Nation, UN, had defined the Blue Economy as an economy that range of economic sectors and related policies that together determine whether the use of ocean reources is sustainable. 

Note that the center for the Blue Economy, going by the UN’s definition says ‘’it is now a widely used term around the world with three related but distinct meanings: the overall contribution of the oceans to economies, the need to address the environmental and ecological sustainability of the oceans and the ocean economy as a growth opportunity for both developed and developing economies.

There is no gainsaying the fact that  port inefficacies,  high incidence of piracy,  poor port environment,  lack of political will and inefficient coastline  resources, among others , have been identified over the years  as the major setback  to African countries , including Nigeria’s prospect  of exploiting  the ocean economy estimated  to be  over $4 trillion.

Recall that  in 2018,  Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers state and the then minister of Transportation,  had expressed  Nigeria readiness  to cooperate  with  countries in the African continent  to advance the Continental Blue economy. The immediate pat minister of Transportation had said that ‘’it  is one of the primary objective s of the Economic Recovery and growth plan , ERGP, of the  government  and a major revenue alternative to oil. 

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