By Ajibola Abayomi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has received commendations from the House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration for its performance in the 2017 budget implementation.
The committee added that NIMASA should strive to improve on its performance in 2018. The commendation was made by the House Committee led by its Chairman, Hon. Mohammed Umaru Bago who expressed delight on the Agency’s strides in repositioning the Nigerian maritime sector since the inception of this administration during an oversight visit to the agency today.
Speaking shortly after listening to a presentation from the agency on 2017 budget performance, which was based on the five transformation agenda of the Dr. Dakuku led Management, Hon. Bago noted that there have been improvements in the Agency’s activities in the last year and it is a welcome development for the nation’s maritime industry.
While also commending the Agency on the feat achieved in the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) through the sea time training, which was hitherto a challenge in the recent past, the Committee urged the Agency to fast track the delivery of the fifth largest floating dock to Nigeria as it will help mitigate capital flight and also create more jobs.
“We are have visited beneficiaries of NSDP in some countries, in Egypt for example we discovered over 300 cadets undergoing sea time training. As a Committee, we will continue to give the Agency the required legislative backing in ensuring that it achieves its mandate in order to ensure a robust maritime sector”, Hon. Bago said.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside expressed appreciation to the committee for their unalloyed support to the course of the Agency, reiterated the Agency’s commitment to continue to make accountability its watchword and the Agency’s resolve to continue to cooperate with the Committee in the interest of the maritime industry and the country as a whole.
According to the DG, “when you are given an assignment, you are expected to be accountable; you are expected to conduct the assignment in a transparent manner and that is exactly what NIMASA is doing. We have the mandate to promote and regulate shipping activities in Nigeria and we have to continue to engage all Stakeholders both locally and internationally and assure them of a conducive environment for their businesses to thrive”, the DG said.
Also in the area of capacity development, which is one of the five strategic pillars of the current leadership of the Agency to revamp the sector, the DG stated that training and retraining of staff has been a major focus, which has helped in improving productivity and professionalism of the workforce.
Dr. Peterside who assured the Chairman and members of the Committee that the Agency will continue to collaborate with the committee also welcomed the call for synergy between the Executive and Legislative arms of government for the benefit of Nigerians.
In his words, “The beauty of democracy is collaboration, synergy between the Executive and the Legislative arms of government. It is not we versus them; we are all working for a single purpose to help Nigerians. We are working to help the Nigerian people to ensure that life is better for all our people. No single arm of government can do it alone; we must work in a collaborative manner”.