The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the focus of the new management is to make NIMASA an agency that works, client friendly and a beacon of hope for Nigerians.
Peterside, who made the remark when a delegation from the African Leadership magazine led by its Publisher Mr. Ken Giama paid him a courtesy visit, also, noted that the management is committed to making the agency more productive and efficient.
According to him, “The dream of NIMASA is to be a respectable voice globally on maritime issues and to be acknowledged as the most effective, most efficient, most competitive maritime administration in Africa. That is our dream. We want to be a maritime agency working with other stakeholders globally to protect Nigeria’s interest in the global maritime sector.”
Acknowledging the fact that the agency is yet to achieve this feat, Peterside said: “We are championing a massive repositioning, reform and restructuring programme, and of course all those that have ideas that will help us are welcome on board.”
He said NIMASA is moving from one phase to another phase where shipping is safe, secure and environmentally friendly.
Peterside also assured the delegation that NIMASA will take advantage of the African Leadership media group’s global platform to let the world know that there is a new regime in maritime administration in Nigeria that is committed to the adoption of best practises in all areas of its operations.
Earlier, the Publisher of the African Leadership magazine Mr. Ken Giama said the magazine is one of the leading media houses reporting Africa to the world.
He called for a partnership with NIMASA to use its platform to propagate the changed narrative of Nigeria which was hitherto, negative.
Giama also invited the agency to partner with the magazine on its ‘Waste to Wealth’ programme which is aimed at not just engaging young people in productive ventures but also creating job opportunities and generating wealth for Nigeria’s teeming population.
In a related development, Peterside has observed that the maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria.
Peterside stated this while hosting the President and members of the Womens’ International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria who paid him a familiarisation visit at the Maritime House in Lagos.
He expressed happiness that the women in the industry have united under a common umbrella.
He commended the contribution of women to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry noting that there could be no real growth for the sector if critical segments of the population like the women are excluded.
According to him, “We cannot talk about growth in the maritime industry if we exclude over 50% of those who should drive growth. By the latest statistics, women constitute over 50% of the world population. Even if you extrapolate it to Nigeria, women constitute close to 60%, I think 55% of the population in Nigeria. And so if we exclude 55% and have 44% or so compete for the available spaces, we have excluded the majority of Nigerians from the maritime industry, you cannot expect growth in the maritime industry if you exclude women.”
Peterside thanked the women for organising themselves into a strong voice and charged them to continue to contribute their quota to the development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
While pledging the Agency’s commitment to partner with WISTA Nigeria for the growth and development of the industry, the NIMASA boss observed that the Nigerian maritime industry is set for a historic growth that will be globally acknowledged.
He said: “The maritime industry is the next big thing that will happen to Nigeria. We are a littoral state and we have all the trappings to excel in the industry and if we have our women on board we can sail to the top of the mountain.”
Earlier in her address, the President of WISTA Nigeria, Mrs. Mary Hamman acknowledged the efforts of the DG in repositioning NIMASA and the maritime industry and pledged their support for his administration.
Hamman sought the cooperation of the agency for some of the association’s empowerment programmes for women and children impacted by the activities of shipping and related businesses.
WISTA Nigeria is an international association of women professionals involved in the maritime industry and the logistics chain whose main aim is to foster unity amongst members and act as an advocacy group for the sustainable development of the maritime industry.