The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has called for the establishment of a specialized National Maritime Transport Policy for Nigeria.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside made this call on Monday in Lagos, at the opening of a three-day National workshop on Maritime Transport Policy. He observed that there was an urgent need for a new Maritime Transport policy to complement the existing National Transport Policy in order to expedite the development of maritime activities in the nation.
At the conference which was organized by NIMASA in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO); the NIMASA Director General assured that the agency would assiduously work for an environment saturated by global compliant laws and business-friendly regulations.
“It is high time we fortified our sector with global compliant laws and business-friendly regulations. Maritime is international and we cannot isolate ourselves from the rest of the world by doing things the local way, which tends to draw us back and scare away investors. We need a sustainable maritime policy that would guide the coordination of maritime activities as we strive to advance Nigeria’s Global maritime Goal”, Dr. Peterside said.
According to the Director General the programme highlights a new phase in the nation’s journey towards optimal exploration of the opportunities that abound in the maritime sector as well as enhancing the Agency’s mandate of promoting and facilitating maritime trade.
Meanwhile, the IMO Secretary General, Mr. Kitack Lim, who was represented at the event by the IMO Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, Mr. William Azuh, stated that development of national policies to guide planning, decision making and relevant legislative actions was crucial to the growth of maritime in any nation.
“We will support NIMASA in developing a sustainable maritime transport system reflecting and balancing the interests of stakeholders with a carefully devised and executed maritime transport policy, which is crucial in serving as a fundamental guidance document to provide a long-term sustainable vision for the future of the Nigerian maritime sector”, Lim said.
In his contribution, the President Of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), a critical pivot to the police’s success, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun called attention on the need to factor into consideration the views of shipowners, who built ships outside the country but want to bring them into Nigeria.
He said Ship-owners shouldn’t be unduly burdened by a 100% duty fee, which was capable of discouraging the private sector stakeholders from bringing in ships needed to enhance the development of the maritime transport sector.