By Oyeniyi Iwakun
The Nigerian maritime industry is expected to experience a radical transformation in the next few weeks as assured by Dr Dakuku Peterside, the Director General of Nigerian Management and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in his chat with MMS plus newspaper at the opening ceremony of a three day workshop on national maritime policy formulation in Lagos last week.
This came as a reaction to the new presidential directive on maritime activities and administration. ‘’The Acting President just signed the executive order about two weeks ago and all of us who are players in the maritime sub-sector and particularly in the ports have held meetings on the implementation of the presidential order. The order is to the extent that we must operate 24hrs on our ports; reduce turnaround time for vessels and cargo clearance among others so that people can do business with ease. Dakuku said
The NIMASA boss further explained the assiduous role other stakeholders in the maritime sub-sectors are playing to ensuring that business transactions are done without any unnecessary delay at the Nigerian ports in line with the federal government’s objective.
‘’I can tell you that all sub-sectors in the industry are relating and working very hard. In the next few weeks, you will notice a remarkable difference in ‘’ease’’ with which everybody can do business. By then our ports will be very competitive globally and I can tell you that there will be reasons for people to use our ports’’ he said
Dr. Dakuku Peterside reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria meets up and continues to maintain International standard in maritime administration where he shed more light on the ongoing efforts by the Federal Government in setting up a national fleet which is aimed at reviving the defunct Nigeria National Shipping Line (NNSL) as earlier announced by the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi sometimes June, 2016.
While explaining that the national fleet will take a new dimension as it will be privately run, Dr Dakuku noted that National fleet is usually a process that requires tact and proper scrutiny so as to avoid the past mistakes believed to have led to the crumbling of NNSL. He however requested the support and maximum cooperation of Nigerians towards actualizing this big project.
‘’we have gotten a Singaporean shipping firm as technical partner. We need to get Nigerians to buy into the vision and merge it with their funds. After merging it, you will place order for the vessels and I can tell you that as we are starting the entire process you will begin to notice a major milestone or major achievements in the next eighteen months.