By Chibuike Nwabuko
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday, described the rebranding of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as part of the Federal Government’s effort to enhance economic diversification, and reposition the maritime sector as the country’s highest revenue earner in the very near future.
Buhari stated this, while unveiling the new logo of NIMASA at the ongoing 3rd Conference of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administration (AAMA) currently taking place in Abuja, Nigeria, where stakeholders from 34 African countries converged with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and other notable global maritme stakeholders.
The President, who was represented at the conference by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, where the new brand of NIMASA was unveiled, said that the Federal Government will not relent in its quest to make the Nigerian Maritime sector a role model on the African continent.
While commending the Management of NIMASA under the leadership of the Director General, Dakuku Peterside, for the strings of achievements in such a short period, the President assured that the Federal Government is committed to changing the narrative as it concerns the Nigerian Maritime sector.
Buhari also stated that NIMASA is the regulatory agency of shipping and maritime activities in Nigeria, and that the rebranding of the Agency is in line with the reformation of the country’s sole maritime administration to play an important role in Nigeria’s economic advancement.
“We are reforming NIMASA so that it can play its expected role as a facilitator of economic prosperity. We are paying significant attention to making it easier to do business and one of our immediate priorities in this regard, is the entry and exit of goods especially in our sea ports. The measures that we are putting in place are designed to improve the efficiency of our ports and to enable quick turnaround time of vessels. Technology is also being deployed to make our port operations more transparent and effective in support of economic growth,” the President said.
While stating that the new logo and brand ushers in a new beginning for the maritime sector, he charged leaders of African maritime administration to continue to collaborate and develop the human and institutional capacities required to respond appropriately to challenges facing African maritime sector adding that maritime administrations are across the continent are already rising up to the challenge.
“For any one following the development of the African maritime sector, there can be no question that more than ever before, our countries are beginning to accord the sector the importance that it deserves,” he said.
The 3rd AAMA Conference, which is themed “Sustainable use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas”, holding from April 19 to 21, 2017, provided the veritable platform for the take off the rejuvenation of NIMASA and the maritime industry to be more productive.
It would be recalled that Peterside has continually stated that the present Management of the Agency has a mandate from the President to reposition the Agency, and make it a foremost maritime administration in Africa, advancing Nigeria’s global maritime goals.