A transport Maritime Policy (MTP) is underway, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.
He stated that Nigeria is in dire need of a MTP which will complement the existing national transport policy and advance the countryâ€™s global maritime trade.
Peterside who stated this at the opening of the national workshop on MTP organised by NIMASA in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) noted that the programme is a new phase in the nationâ€™s journey towards effectively maximising the maritime opportunities that abound the sector, especially in line with the Agencyâ€™s mandate of promoting and facilitating maritime trade.
His words: â€œYou will agree with me that 60 percent of the cargo headed to West Africa will likely end up in Nigeria; we have not only a long coast but also one of the longest inland waterways; in addition of six active port complexes. All these, coupled with our population, make us the biggest economy in Africa. Therefore, we need a sustainable maritime policy that would guide the coordination of maritime activities as we strive to advance Nigeriaâ€™s global maritime goalâ€.
He also said that as part of the revolution going on in the transport sector, the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration is advancing the intermodal transport system by linking all the port complexes to the hinterland via the railway to further facilitate ease of doing business.
The NIMASA helmsman however opined that NIMASA cannot achieve this goal alone, hence the need to seek supports of the IMO and other relevant stakeholders in order to come up with a model to develop a maritime transport policy that will serve Nigeriaâ€™s interest and stand the test of time.
â€œA workable maritime transport policy of any nation should be stakeholders driven. Therefore all associated stakeholders and professionals in the sector are needed to participate in the articulation and formulation of this policyâ€, he said.