The federal government has applauded the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its efforts at developing the maritime sector of the economy.
The Minister for Transportation, Mu’ Azu jaji Sambo stated this during the commissioning of the NIMASA Search and Rescue Base Clinic (SARBC) in Lagos.
He said NIMASA’s effort is in line with the government’s drive to diversify the nation’s economy away from oil, maintaining that the sector plays a significant role in revenue generation for the nation.
Sambo said as the supervisory Ministry, it would continue to give its support to NIMASA as she continues down this commendable path to ensuring the growth of maritime in Nigeria.
“We commit ourselves to the supervisory role that would create enabling operational regimes for the agencies and departments under the ministry,” he said.
According to him, the SARBC will enable the agency to fulfil its obligations to seafarers and the general public by providing top-notch medical care facilities, stressing that the newly acquired communication gadgets will enable the agency’s enforcement and search and rescue operators communicate in real-time without any hindrance or interference while conducting their operations at sea,” he added.
Earlier, the Director General, NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the commissioning would help address the high cost incurred by the agency in providing medical services to its staff while also generating foreign exchange for the nation’s economy as the clinic would be open to seafarers home and abroad.
“We will building infrastructure day in, day out and will do everything within our mandate to develop the nation’s maritime sector. Our ears and doors are open to maritime stakeholders. We will do the best to produce the platform for the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.
He, however, restated its determination as an agency and as a nation in its entirety, to be persistent and relentless in the fight against maritime crime and insecurity while also striving at making the nation’s waterways and general maritime ecosystem safe.
“We have from the very beginning of our administration reckoned that attaining a Blue Economy is pivotal to the growth and development of the nation. It was equally important that while we had our vision set on achieving something great, we simultaneously took cognizance of the damaging impact that piracy, kidnapping of seafarers, smuggling, illegal oil bunkering, robbery at sea and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing has had on our maritime profile,” he said.