The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Lagos State Government (LASG) have reiterated their readiness to join forces on maritime safety.
NIMASA and LASG stated this when Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh paid a courtesy call on the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu at Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
Jamoh was on his maiden working visit to the governor since his appointment last year by President Mohammadu Buhari.
The Lagos number one citizen used the occasion to call for what he described as “improved certification regime” for boat skippers and better regulation of the operations of non-convention vessels that operate in the inland waterways of the country.
According to him, an improved utilisation of Lagos waterways will go a long way in easing the traffic congestion on roads in the state.
Jamoh had earlier in opening remarks told his host why he was in Government House on the working visit.
He informed Sanwol-Olu the desire of the agency to effectively collaborate with the state in the areas of capacity development to improve maritime regulation, thus, promoting the blue economy which has the capacity of creating wealth for the nation.
The governor noted that the training and certification of operators of non-convention vessels operating on inland waterways is key to improved safety of operations. While noting that the state government is close to delivering 15 new jetties and terminals to enhance waterways transportation in Lagos, he called on NIMASA to consider partnering the private sector for a more effective regulation and certification of small boat operators.
His words: “We know NIMASA has done well in regulating the operations of large vessels calling at our waters which is very necessary for the nation’s economic wellbeing. Considering the activities of small craft in our inland waterways, we in Lagos desire improved regulation of operations in terms of certification, which comes directly under NIMASA. You may consider partnering the private sector under your strict supervision to improve certification of operators on our inland waterways. Fifteen new jetties and terminals being constructed by the state government will soon be ready for use.”
While acknowledging Jamoh’s knowledge of the maritime industry, he listed water hyacinth management, wreck removal, and deep seaport operations as areas that Lagos State and NIMASA can collaborate to ensure Nigeria benefits more from the blue economy. He indicated the state’s interest in hosting the campus of a maritime academy.
On his part, Jamoh identified areas of collaboration between the agency and Lagos State Government to include human capacity development, fishing industry development, and marine waste management, all geared towards harnessing the nation’s potentials in the blue economy.
While stating that NIMASA was also collaborating with other littoral states, the NIMASA helmsman commended Lagos State Government for efforts at ensuring security on land, which has a multiplier effect on security on the waters.
According to Jamoh, 90 percent of maritime crimes are conceived on land. Lagos State has done so much in terms of security on land and this has a multiplier effect on the security of the maritime domain in the Lagos area. We seek collaboration to enhance our operations in the interest of Nigeria as a nation.
He maintained that NIMASA needs alliances to develop policies that would ensure Nigeria effectively harnesses her potentials in the blue economy just as he pointed out that Lagos State has comparative advantage over other states in the country.
“We are willing and ready to partner with Lagos State Government”, he added.