Abdulsalami Identifies Maritime Sector as Alternative Source of Revenue

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Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar

Martins Ifijeh

As part of plans to diversify the Nigerian economy, a former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has said it was high time alternative sources of revenue were developed for the country, noting that the maritime sector was well-positioned to do so.

Abdulsalami, who spoke ahead of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Maritime Awards in Lagos Thursday , also commended efforts by the agency to motivate stakeholders and staff, as this would help them take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the economy.

He said: “What NIMASA is doing in the industry and the idea behind the awards are quite in line to motivate stakeholders and staff to take advantage of the policies in place to invest and grow the Nigerian economy.”

On his part, the Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed that the successes recorded so far in the maritime sector were as a result of the cooperation of stakeholders in the industry.

He added that the award was part of the efforts to celebrate and reward excellence in the Nigerian maritime industry and to also encourage more local participation in the shipping business as well as draw attention to the vast opportunities in the sector for both foreign and local investors to grow the blue economy, which has become the focus of global investments.

“As an agency, we recognise the role of our stakeholders in the drive to realise a robust maritime sector. Without stakeholders, there will be no NIMASA and by extension, no maritime industry. We are therefore hopeful that in the coming years, we will continue to work assiduously to meet the yearnings of the industry as we hope to engage more in collaboration, so that all of us can boast of a robust maritime sector,” Dakuku explained.

The Head of Corporate Communications at NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, said the past year was quite eventful for the agency under Dakuku, as many important milestones were recorded.

He identified some of the milestones to include the provision of sea-time for over 500 cadets; the arrival of modular floating dockyard that will create capacity and help retain mult-imillion of dollars in-country through vessel maintenance; and championing the collective bargaining agreement for industrial harmony with improved wages and entitlements for maritime workers, among others.

He said the proposed award is scheduled for Saturday, January 12, at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos. “It is expected to attract dignitaries from all walks of life, among who are the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, who is billed to chair the event, and the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who is the host. Also expected are Governors of Lagos, Ogun, Enugu, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi and Borno States, as well as ministers.

“Others are Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Dr. Nike Akande, as well as royal fathers, including the Emir of Kano, Mallam Sanusi Lamido, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, top government officials, National Assembly members, and members of the diplomatic corps.

“The award categories include Shipping Company of the Year 2018 (Dry Cargo), Shipping Company of the Year 2018 (Wet Cargo), Maritime Education and Training Institute of the Year 2018, Manning Agent of the Year 2018, and Seafarers’ Employer of the Year 2018.”

He said staff of the agency will be honoured for outstanding performance with an ‘Employee of the Year’ award picked from the 11 winners of the ‘Employee of the Month’ awards from January to November 2018.