The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has unveiled plans to acquire 100 new cabotage vessels in collaboration with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at the second stakeholders’ meeting in Warri, Delta State, said the agency is currently in talks with NCDMB, and the project is at advanced stage.
Peterside, who described the maritime as a multi-stakeholder industry that plays an important role in the growth of the nation, noted that without the sector, it would be difficult to fund the Federal Government’s budget.
“In our industry, all of us are equally important and have our different roles; but it is only when we work synergistically that we can accomplish great results. For us in NIMASA, we have our eyes on the ball and the different achievements made in recent times are because of the roles of the different stakeholders,” he said.
He also recalled that in the past few months, NIMASA had made significant progress in various areas including sponsoring 298 cadets to do sea time training in United Kingdom, and Egypt, while Nigeria had moved up in ease of doing business. “Also, it is a fact that because of the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy (NCCS), in the past six months we have had over 200 seafarers onboard different Cabotage vessels amongst other developmental initiatives,” he added.
Stakeholders, who spoke at the event, expressed their continued support for the maritime agencies, and for the growth and development of the maritime sector.
The Chairman, National Seafearers Welfare Board, Kunle Folarin, said government, through various agencies like NIMASA, shipowners, manning agents, and other contracting parties in Nigeria, should take the issues of seafarer welfare seriously, and address them as parts of national, economic, and social policies.
He said: “Inspection of on board facilities should be regularly performed. Shipowners and manning agents should engage in all best practices in both human and material resource management, particularly in areas of fair wages without disparity.
“Health and safety standards and facilities, dispute resolution, prompt attendance to distress situation, and provision of welfare facilities for seafarers should receive prompt attention,” he said.