Indigenous ship owners in the country have expressed their readiness to back the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside on his leadership of the Chairman, of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA).
The backing of the indigenous ship owners is coming on the heels of the election of Peterside as the Chairman of AAMA in the just concluded conference of the continental body which took place in Abuja.
The indigenous ship owners under the auspices of the Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) in a congratulatory message obtained by THISDAY said they were in support of Petersideâ€™s emergence as the Chairman of AAMA.
Signed by SOAN President, Mr. Greg Ogbeifun, the Nigerian ship owners expressed belief in Petersideâ€™s ability to lead African maritime sector revival, for the economic benefit of the continent.
SOAN which remains the leading voice of ship owners in the country said the election of the NIMASA helmsman as the Chairman of AAMA did not come as a surprise. Since he assumed office, he has shown dexterity in ensuring a virile Nigerian maritime sector that can compete favourably in the comity of maritime nations.
â€œYour election did not come to us as a surprise, but a proof of your worth in the business of rejuvenating the maritime sector for optimum growth and prosperity of the Nigerian economy, anchored on efficient and profitable management of men and other resourcesâ€, the letter read in part.
While also urging Dakuku to bring his wealth of experience to bear in leading AAMA, SOAN pledged itsr continuous support to the developmental initiative of NIMASA towards repositioning the maritime sector for greater efficiency and performance.
SOAN support is in the wake of President Mohammadu Buhariâ€™s congratulatory message to Peterside on the strides made by the apex maritime regulatory agency since he was appointed a year ago.
Buhari in his letter acknowledged NIMASAâ€™s encouraging performance under the watch of the former member of the National Assembly.
The President noted the success of the agency fight against sea piracy through inter agency cooperation.
Describing the election of Peterside as the chairman of the continental body to be a confirmation that the country has the human capital required to make Nigeria a leading maritime nation, Buhari said Petersideâ€™s election also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.
AAMA was formed following the signing of the African Transport and Maritime Charter in 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring together all players in the African maritime sector. The continental body is an umbrella body of five African maritime stakeholdersâ€™ groups. These include Association of Maritime Administrations of Africa, Africaâ€™s Ship Registry Forum, African Ship Owners Association as well as Africa Shippersâ€™ Council and Seafarersâ€™ Forum.
It has the aim of promoting the development of Africaâ€™s maritime regulatory and maritime environment for the benefit of Africans.
THISDAY had reported that Peterside was unanimously elected to lead the continental body as the Chairman during the just concluded 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Heads in Abuja.
He takes over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA). Tilayi was in office since 2013.