The Chief of Naval Staff, Awwal Gambo, who applauded the initiative, said it will improve NIMASA’s institutional capacity and enhance Maritime Administration in Nigeria.Gambo, who was represented by Rear Admiral Solomon Agada, said, “the provision of a separate section on marine casualty and the proposed establishment of a Maritime Accident Investigation Unit, will improve compliance with extant regulations, such as the international regulations for preventing collision at sea, 1972 and thus enhanced Maritime safety.”
He stated this while declaring open the two-day public hearing by the House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration on the Merchant Shipping Act, Repeal and Enactment Bill 2021, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act Repeal & Enactment Bill 2021, Coastal & Inland Cabotage Amendment Bill 2020.
The Speaker noted the need for appropriate regulation of the Nigerian maritime industry in tune with the realities of the times to ensure maximum utilization of the nation’s maritime sector.
On her part, Chairman House Committee on Maritime Safety Education and Administration Honorable Linda Ikpeazu said the public hearing was to ensure that the decision of the Legislature regarding the Bills are taken from a well-informed position premised on submissions from maritime stakeholders from all aspects of the industry.
She said: “It is common knowledge that the maritime sector is a foundation and catalyst to the growth of nations that possess marine endowments. Nigeria, by any standard, is well endowed by ocean coastline, rivers, and rich marine biodiversity.
“Not only are we focused on making the maritime sector a key alternative source of revenue and economic growth to our dwindling oil resources, but we are also poised to develop a prosperous blue economy for our nation, akin to similar success in the maritime nation around the world.
In his submission, the Honorable Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, commended the National Assembly for embarking on the review of the Laws governing the maritime sector, noting that the new NIMASA Bill under consideration, will enhance the capacity of the Agency to effectively regulate the Nigerian maritime industry in line with international best practices.
The Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, WISTA, CIOTA Nigerian Welfare Board, National Association of Master Mariners amongst others were stakeholders who made presentations and supported the proposed amendments to the two Acts of the National Assembly under consideration.
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NIMASA set to open Lokoja office to harness waterways resources
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that the Agency is set to reopen the Lokoja office, as part of efforts towards harnessing the Blue Economy, enhancing collaboration, while also promoting Research and Development.
The DG, who made this known when he played host to the Executive Secretary of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA), Mal. Usman Hayatu Mazadu at the head office of the Agency in Lagos, noted that investment in research would play a major role in ensuring the harnessing of Nigeria’s maritime potentials.
“The key cardinal principle of opening the NIMASA Lokoja office is to improve on Research and Development.
He said, “Now, the Blue Economy has come to stay and very soon you will see the impact of what we have; in terms of the gains and benefits to grow our Gross Domestic Product while improving the well-being of our own Economy”.
Earlier in his remarks, Mallam Usman of KADSEMA lauded the Agency for the feat achieved so far, which cuts across the entire Nigeria.
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