As 181 workers receive commendation in Long Service Awards
By Kenneth Jukpor
GAC Shipping Company emerged the overall best shipping company in Nigeria at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) 2019 Industry Stakeholders’ Merit Awards which held in Lagos, yesterday.
Other winners at the stakeholders’ awards for 2019 include, Total Exploration and Production Company as the Most Compliant ISPS Offshore Facility company; AP Miller Terminal honoured as the Most Compliant ISPS Onshore Facility; Tin Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) bagged Best Terminal/Jetty Operator; the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron won the Best Maritime Training Institution.
West African Ventures was recognized as the Best Shipping Company (Marine Environment Management); Awaritse Nigeria Limited as Best Cabotage Operator of the Year and Sea Navigation International Limited emerged the Company with the Largest Combined Tonnage.
The event also saw 181 members of staff at NIMASA bag long service awards for 15years, 20years, 25years and 30years categories of service and Mrs. Constance Omagbemi from the Legal Services department was honoured as the Employee of the Year.
Speaking at the event, the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha revealed that the government was targeting a place among the top 70 nations in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Ranking by 2023.
Boss Mustapha encouraged NIMASA to build on its modest achievements in the maritime industry in order to make the government’s ease of doing business vision for 2023 a reality.
He commended NIMASA for extending the awards to industry stakeholders and not limiting the celebration of the industry’s success to members of staff at the agency.
Mustapha, who was chairman of the occasion, expressed delight that the country had moved from 170 to 131 after President Mohammadu Buhari established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in July 2016.
He noted that the emergence of the PEBEC initiative, coupled with the significant development in ports and maritime sector which included the crucial role of NIMASA, has seen the nation make giant strides in ease of doing business.
“The bid to improve efficiency and productivity in the maritime industry and the nation at large, the PEBEC was created to ensure an enabling environment for port efficiency. Government will continue to support the maritime sector because on it rests opportunities for wealth creation and economic growth,” he said.
He added that there was still a long way to go but agreed that there was need to recognise the progress that had been made in order to keep the NIMASA workforce motivated to give their all for the sector’s growth.
Addressing the NIMASA awardees, he said, “For those members of staff receiving awards tonight, I want you to know that this is a call to further service for the nation because to whom much is given, much is also expected. The successful growth of NIMASA is the direct result of the values of its workers and stakeholders. Your dedication and commitment serve as the operational link which drives NIMASA”
Despite serving for barley one year as the Managing Director of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Mustapha revealed that he has continued following the developments in the industry and observed with keen interest the achievements of NIMASA.
Earlier, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside observed that since the introduction of the NIMASA annual staff commendation awards three years ago, the image and perception of the agency transformed positively.
Dakuku highlighted some of the achievements of the agency to include; enhanced security architecture and surveillance equipment, introduction of final billing system, annual maritime forecast, improved ship registry, increased ship tonnage, among others.
However, the NIMASA boss attributed these achievements to the commitment of the staff at the agency, alluding that this commitment was the reason for celebrating the outstanding officers as well as the long serving officials.
Dakuku also stated that the agency wasn’t under any illusion as there was still work to be done in order to build on the modest achievements and make Nigeria a maritime hub in Africa.
He reserved commendation for the stakeholders in the maritime industry, noting that the agency had enjoyed robust support from the industry players which had been a source of strength for the agency.
Dakuku also commended the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the Minister of State for Transportation, Hon Gbemi Saraki, for their zeal and penchant for growth and excellence in the nation’s transport sector.
The event was spiced with quality entertainment as Kiss Daniel, Omawunmi, Burna Boy, thrilled the participants with melodious tunes and one of Nigeria’s foremost Disc Jockeys (DJ) Jimmy Jatt was on ground to keep the dance tunes flowing for hours.