Nigeria: NIMASA Explains Essence of Maritime Advisory Group

Advisory Group (MAG) has become a necessity to ensure that all stakeholders are carried along in the process of policy formulation and implimentation in the Nigerian Maritime sector, director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA), Ziakede Akpobolokemi has said.

The NIMASA DG noted his management is commited to a collective process of decision making in harnessing the potentials of the country’s maritime sector.

He was speaking after a meeting with members of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN) in Lagos, where he stated that the agency has reached a decision and will constitute and inaugurate MAG before this month of May ends.

A Joint Technical Committee was also set up to review and provide a road map to improve indigenous participation in the Nigerian maritime sector.

“The time for rethorics is over,” said Akpobolokemi, adding that, “the Maritime Advisory Group will have people of high integrity who will add value to our vision of developing the industry.”

He explained that even as “we desire collective efforts, constructive critisms are welcome, and we are ready to move with the speed of light in harnessing the country’s maritime potentials”.

He disclosed that a lot of progress has been made on the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) as the apointed Primary Lending Institutions have recommended six organizations to NIMASA for issuance of Certificates of Disbursement (COD).

The delay in disbursement, according to him, is the awaited approval from both the NIMASA Board and the Minister of Transport.

He also said that the Capability Audit exercise embarked upon by the Agency last year has started yielding fruits as most companies now find it difficult to terminate contracts of indigenous operators at will as they now have NIMASA to contend with.

Pledging support for the maritime advisory group, chairman, Indigenous Ship owners Asssociation of Nigeria (ISAN) Isaac Jolapamo comended the for making the Maritime Advisory Group a reality, but urged the agency to extend effective enforcement of cabotage to other ports in Porthacourt, Calabar, Onne and Warri.



Source: independentngonline, May 20, 2011.