By Seun Ibiyemi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that plans are going on to partner with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) in tackling the incessant boat mishaps in the nation’s waterways.
The Director- General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who stated this at a media chat in Port Harcourt recently, stressed that the efforts have attracted commendations from various sections of the country including the Federal Executive Council who are fully committed to the new drive of the Country’s foremost maritime administration.
He noted however that they would not relent in the efforts to make Nigeria a leading maritime nation.
According to him, “we are putting a lot of structures in place to ensure the Agency remains on a sound footing and our efforts have attracted commendation from the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and stakeholders within and outside the maritime sector.
“We can only get better in our determination to make the Agency perform the functions for which it was set up and make it the leading maritime administration in Africa. This is why we are continuously working hard and poised to making Nigerians reap the benefits of the sector,” he said.
Speaking further the NIMASA DG said that the transformation of the Agency has been phenomenal in terms of repositioning and revenue generation, stating that NIMASA is among the top five agencies contributing to the coffers of the Federal Government.
Peterside further said that NIMASA was working continuously in collaboration with relevant security agencies to ensure the protection of Nigerian waterways and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.
He particularly commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to the maritime sector by giving the needed support to carry out reforms, policies and programmes that have had tremendous impacts on the fortunes of the industry.
On the recent boat mishaps around the country and Rivers state in particular, he expressed sadness over the incidents but was quick to add that NIMASA would work with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to promote safety and safer ways of water transportation.
He then promised to personally donate 1,000 life jackets to jetty operators in Rivers State as a way of promoting safety consciousness.
It should be noted that the Agency recently reinforced its commitment to safety of lives and properties in the maritime sector and this was evident by the shutting down of some facilities by the Agency for not conforming to the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code.