Director General of the agency, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, whole speaking at the recently concluded all Nigerian editors’ conference held in Asaba, the Delta State capital, noted that the building of strong regulatory institutions in the industry has become a basic requirement for the sustained development of the maritime industry in Nigeria.
According to the NIMASA-boss who presented a paper entitled: ‘Nigeria beyond oil’, NIMASA is implementing programmes that would transform the maritime industry to become the mainstay of the Nigeria’s economy in the nearest future.
Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the deputy director of the agency in charge of public relations, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi said: “The maritime industry would soon serve as the required catalyst to diversify Nigeria’s income stream”. He had also argued that for Nigeria as a country, it has become imperative for her to immediately grow and exploit her non-oil sectors in order to diversify and grow the economy.
“We must all work together to ensure that all sectors of the economy are given the impetus required to fulfill their potential and mandate. We urge you to continue to be partners in nation building by supporting the campaign for strong regulatory institutions in all sectors of our economy.”, he further argued. According to him, the Asian tigers are good examples of the ability of the maritime industry to be a major contributor to a nation’s economy.
He said: “Like the Asians, we have not only tapped into the opportunities in the entire maritime industry, we have also developed some strategic programmes to sustain the development of Nigeria’s maritime industry”. He listed the establishment of the Nigerian Maritime University; Maritime Institutes in four Nigerian universities and a College of Maritime Studies as some of the measures adopted by the agency to ensure that Nigeria’s maritime potential are fully tapped.
The agency is currently working on a projection that would enable Nigeria earn a minimum of $6billion from seafarers’ export in the next 10 years under the National Seafarers’ Development Programme
The NSDP is a strategic intervention designed to address the short and medium term manpower requirements of the Nigeria’s maritime industry by creating a large pool of e indigenous seafarers by 2014. This apart from creating a niche for Nigeria as a leading supplier of seafarers in Africa, it will also enable her meet the shortage in the local market and also contribute to global manpower needs of the international shipping industry.
Information from National Mirror was used in this report.