Eromosele Abiodun in Egypt
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has stated that the President Muhammadu Buhari led-administration has the vision and determination to make the Nigerian ports, the hub of maritime activities in the West and Central Africa region.
Peterside stated this yesterday, while delivering a speech at the on-going Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) Conference in Sham El Sheikh, Egypt.
Peterside who is also the chairman of AAMA said the geographical location of Nigeria would aid its transformation to a regional maritime hub.
According to him, “Today, we are celebrating Singapore based on the vision of its leaders. “And I am also happy to inform you that the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari is doing everything position to make the Nigerian ports the hub of maritime activities in the West and Central Africa.”
He added that the Buhari administration has a long-term, strategic port planning system that would ensure the nation’s sea ports provide adequate capacity to meet the demands of key shipping lines and their alliance partners in sizeable blocks of volume.
The NIMASA boss stated that Africa needs leaders like President Buhari who has strategic vision and viable courage to make bold decisions that would enable the Nigerian sea ports and other ports in Africa to stay ready for the future, be a pacesetter, reap first-mover advantages, and thrive in a dynamic and competitive global maritime business.
Nigeria’s strategic vision for its ports, he said, was being built on the three Cs – connectivity, capacity, and competitiveness.
African leaders, Peterside added, need to emulate Singapore in taking the right decision and make the necessary investment to develop port infrastructure and technology to boost efficiency and economy.
The federal government, the NIMASA boss revealed was emulating Singapore and other maritime nations of the world in terms of short, medium and long term planning that wouls assist the Nigerian ports to compete favourably with other ports across the globe and urged other African countries to emulate them.
He added that the maritime time sector forecast released by NIMASA recently and the training of over 2500 seafarers by the agency were part of the efforts to make the Nigerian ports competitive.
He urged African maritime administrators to identify areas where they have comparative advantage, their weaknesses and the opportunities they have to reduce poverty and the high level of unemployment ravaging the content.
He stressed that there was need for maritime administrators across the continent to come up with beautiful ideas so that people can invest in their programmes the way the World Bank and other financial institutions did for Singapore in 1972.
Paucity of fund, according to him, cannot, and must not be allowed to delay the growth of the maritime sector in the continent of Africa.