Charkins Maritime and Offshore Safety Centre, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Maersk Nigeria Limited, and Gulf Agency Company (GAC) Nigeria Limited (GAC), were among others honoured with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) achievement awards.
The agency said the award was in recognition of the numerous contributions of stakeholders to the growth and development of the maritime sector in Nigeria.
The dinner and awards night is an initiative to reward and recognize industry players and staff who have put in quality years of service and to encourage hard work amongst staff of the agency.
It also used the occasion to honour some employees of the agency who have demonstrated commitment to the sector over the years.
The awards which was held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos to honour stakeholders that have distinguished themselves in various categories such as the shipping company of the year 2017 (Dry Cargo), shipping company of the year 2017 (Wet Cargo), and the maritime education and training institute of the year 2017.
Others were the manning agent of the year 2017, seafarers’ employer of the year 2017 as well as the agency’s best staff for the year.
Also honoured were others who have meritoriously served the agency for numerous years amongst others.
Speaking at the occasion which attracted several dignitaries from the maritime industry and beyond, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the awards were to identify and encourage industry players who have distinguished themselves and contributed to the development of the sector in the past year.
This he said will further encourage and energize others to be active towards the growth of the blue economy.
The NIMASA helmsman stated that the initiative was in line with the repositioning and restructuring drive of the current leadership of the agency for the growth of the industry which is geared towards fostering a better relationship between the agency and its key stakeholders.
Peterside commended the awardees especially the long serving staff of the agency for their efforts in building a viable maritime sector for Nigeria over the years through their selfless service and dedication.
He charged the awardees and all other stakeholders to continue to do more for the growth of the sector as the awards was a call for them to double their efforts.
His words: “Today we will be honouring some of our best. We will be honouring those who have distinguished themselves, those who have laboured late at night to ensure that ships sail safe and berth on our shores. We will also be honouring industry stakeholders that have also contributed to the growth of this industry; every day by the little things we do, we contribute to the growth of the Nigerian economy. We are a major oil producing nation, but if our oil is not shipped out of this country, we would not bring any value to that God given gift, and so, we play different roles”.
He charged the staff of NIMASA to redouble their efforts in order to ensure that the tempo is sustained just as he reiterated the agency’s continued penchant for capacity building.
“On our part as management, we will ensure training remains priority and we enjoin all staff to key to the repositioning agenda of the current leadership of the agency as this is the only way to ensure consistent growth and development of individuals and by extension the maritime sector,” he said.
He called on stakeholders to continue to support the cause of the agency in repositioning the Nigeria maritime sector in line with global best practices and assured that there are better days ahead.
“All I can say to you is that there are better days ahead. NIMASA can never go back to those dark days. It will be better in each passing day”, he stressed.
He also expressed appreciation to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi and the NIMASA Board led by Major General Jonathan India Garba (retired) for their unrelenting support in the day to day running of the agency.
The high point of the occasion was the presentation of a plaque and cheque of N1 million to the best staff of the year, Mr. Titus Ajayi who works in the Finance Department of the Federal Government parasatal.
Besides notable Nigerians which include Oba of Lagos, His Royal Highness, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, and the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, many stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy as well the oil and gas industry graced the occasion.