By Adeleye Ajayi
Port Harcourt – Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says the management of the agency is on course in its bid to reform, reposition, restructure and reorganise it.
Peterside said this when he was briefing the Chairman of NIMASA Governing Board, Retired Maj-Gen. Jonathan Garba and other members of the board in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The board members are on familiarisation tour of the Eastern operational zones of the agency.
Peterside said that in spite of the challenges in the maritime industry, “the agency is making progress’’.
According to him, our principal mandate is to restructure, reposition, reorganise and reform NIMASA and make it a foremost Maritime Administration in Africa.
“This is because we have no reason not to be number one in Africa.
“Out of every 100 cargo heading to Africa, 65 would come to Nigeria and in this regard, we must ensure that our maritime sector remains vibrant,’’ Peterside said.
The director-general said that in spite of the minor challenges that came along with every change agenda, “the management of the agency with the support of the board is committed to make a difference’’.
Peterside said that the management would ensure that “NIMASA is repositioned to revitalise the economic-enhancing activities of the maritime sector’’.
According to him, NIMASA is charged with the responsibility of advancing maritime sector by regulating shipping, promoting indigenous participation in shipping and ensuring that the ocean is clean and safe for shipping activities.
“The implications of these mandates are that, we have responsibilities for maritime safety and security; seafarers’ standards; and marine environment management.
“We also have responsibility for search and rescue, ship registration and an added responsibility for the Cabotage Act that was passed in 2003,” he said.
The director-general said that to effectively carry out the mandates of the agency, the NIMASA workforce needed motivation.
He said that NIMASA after its establishment, was still working under the defunct structures of the Joint Maritime Labour Industrial Council (JOMALIC) and the National Maritime Authority (NMA) that were merged to form the agency in 2007, which was due for a change.
The director-general said that this led the present management to adopt a Medium- Term Strategic Plan which had aided steps to repositioning the agency for better service delivery.
He said bold steps had been taken to automate the processes of NIMASA and make the zones semi-autonomous by allowing stakeholders to conclude every transaction at the zonal level.
Peterside said the zones had also been upgraded as directors were now heading the zones.
Responding, Garba said the board would support the Executive Management and would “use its will to ensure that NIMASA becomes a major maritime voice in global shipping’’.
In line with the restructuring and repositioning agenda of NIMASA, the board recently approved the promotion of over 300 staff as part of the initiatives to motivate and increase their levels of productivity. (NAN)