The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the need for a single data window system of all activities in the maritime sector.
This, according to him would help engender economic growth in the country.
Peterside made this call in Lagos yesterday, during an interactive session with journalists in Lagos.
According to him, the Nigerian maritime sector which currently provides over 100,000 direct jobs with multiplier effects of over two million jobs, deserves adequate mention in the statistics released monthly by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
“We are pushing for a single data window system in the maritime sector, whereby NIMASA, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other relevant government agencies in the sector will share a common platform for data on all vessels calling at our ports and the activities. This will make it easy for the National Bureau of Statistics to capture the contributions of the maritime sector and the GDP of the country to enable those who make use of the figures to grow the economy achieve better results,” Peterside said.
Speaking on the survey and inspection of vessels calling at Nigerian ports, he said the fast intervention vessels the agency leased last year had led to an increase in Port, Flag and Coastal State control inspections, which he noted had increased by over 10.3, 33.3 and 27 per cent respectively in 2018, compared with same period in the previous year.
He added, “Nigeria is no longer conducive for substandard vessels, because they know that we are more vigilant and by this we are ensuring the protection of our environment. We are strict on enforcement of standards and the international fleet feels more comfortable with our maritime terrain.”
He disclosed that the agency was working with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) as technical partners to improve the quality of graduates from the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN), Oron.
This, he said, was to ensure that graduates from MAN and other maritime institutions are employable.
Dakuku also said that the agency was working with a shipping firm in the United Arab Emirates UAE to give 100 Nigerian Seafarers sea time training spread over 10 years.
He also said the agency had been able to plug loopholes in the system through the automation of its processes, “as there is no more room for human interface, thereby curbing any form of corrupt practices.”
This, he said has also assisted the agency to contribute substantially to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the federal government.