Peterside: Regional Collaboration Key to Africa’s Maritime Sector Devt.

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Dakuku Peterside

Eromosele Abiodun

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that regional collaboration is key to developing Africa’s maritime sector.

He made this known while speaking at the fourth African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) conference in Sharmel Sheikh, Egypt. He added that working together will help Africa harness its huge maritime potential for economic development.

He stressed the agency’s commitment to continue to reposition the Nigerian maritime sector in order to make it viable and compete favourably with its counterparts in other climes, as Nigeria, S/Africa, Ghana and Kenya get set for collaboration.

The NIMASA boss, who is also the chairman of AAMA, added that the agency would continue to drive regional collaborations in order for Africa to reap the benefits of the blue economy.

He said AAMA, under his leadership, is working with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to ensure that more African countries are elected into the IMO council.

Peterside said the AAMA conference provides an avenue for African maritime leaders to chart a way forward for the continent which can be tagged the biggest Island of all the continents.

“We cannot walk this journey alone; partnership is crucial to achieving a robust economy. The beauty of partnership is that everyone brings their expertise to the table where ideas are shared and considered as a way forward to achieving a particular goal; it is not only here in Nigeria, it has become a global trend and this is what AAMA seeks to achieve for the continent” he stated.

Speaking further, the NIMASA boss noted that the agency is in discussions with the Maritime Administrations of South Africa, Ghana and Kenya to acquire and jointly operate a training vessel for Cadets. He also noted that discussions are still at the early stages but he is hopeful that such partnership agreement will be beneficial to the countries, adding that the AAMA conference would be an avenue to continue discussions in the proposed agreement.

He stated further that the partnership with the United Arab Emirate on free training of 100 cadets would support the country, noting that the pact provides for the training of 10 cadets per annum spread over 10 years, making it a total number of 100 cadets to be trained in 10 years, contrary to the negative news making the rounds.

Peterside had while speaking to newsmen recently shed more light on the issue of the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), assuring that in the shortest period of time, the guidelines for the disbursement of the fund will be publicized for qualified ship-owners to be duly considered.

He, however, maintained that the power to grant approval for the release of the funds was vested in the Federal Ministry of Transportation.