The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside is determined not only to ensure Nigeria optimizes the gains of blue economy but also, that countries in the West and Central African sub regions also attract the highest benefits from their maritime endowment.
Dakuku indicated this recently, in an interview, in Lagos, stressing a three-focal points modus operandi, which begins by ensuring genuine acceptability of his ingenious idea, beginning with an accurate understanding that countries’ economic challenges can be tackled through better attention on Maritime sector.
According to Dr. Peterside, his main challenge however is to change old perceptions, a change which he says would not only ensure that countries mainstream Maritime sector into their various economic development plan, but also solve other development visions, including massive job opportunities.
Dakuku wants a holistic and genuine understanding of the precepts, process and the forthcoming gains.
Dakuku may not be alone in his noteworthy vision. Several Key stakeholders are with him. But, he knows too that untl an enduring light can be permanently beamed on the powerful class of decision takers, and the political juggernauts, the Maritime sector may sadly remain dazzy, dizzy and a cash cow for abuse rather than a true economic field for national harvests.
“It’s not just about the Federal Government, it’s about West and Central Africa. There is a general understanding that our governments do not give the maritime sector priority attention.
“We also understand that the Maritime sector has the capacity and capability to catalyze economic growth in the various states of West and Central Africa and so the IMO has seized initiative of helping nations to main-stream maritime sector in their sustainable development goal and the economic plans of the various countries.
“And so this workshop organized by the International Maritime Organisation and the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa in active support of NIMASA, is to achieve three strong objectives; one is to ensure that countries understand the need and process of mainstreaming Maritime sector into their various economic development plan.
“The second is that in setting out to achieve sustainable development goal let countries focus on the role of the maritime sector in achieving sustainable development goals.
“The third is in helping the countries in understanding the process of mainstreaming, the other one is to understand the need to mainstreaming and of finally, how will core countries mainstream maritime sector into their economic development plan which will dovetail into the budgeting process of the various countries.
“If you notice, in this workshop, we brought people from various countries and even, in the country, we brought people from various economic sectors, including the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development; we brought people from sister agencies in the maritime sector; we brought people from all levels, tiers and sectors of government and economic activities.
“So that we all understand from a common perspective the need to mainstream maritime sector.
“We recall that last year, the IMO had a workshop here in Nigeria in collaboration with NIMASA on how to design a National Maritime Transport Plan on Strategy.
“Am proud to say that since then, Nigeria has moved on to develop a draft National Maritime Transport Plan on Strategy.
“I recall that the Ministry of Transportation is facilitating that and in most recent time, NIMASA conveys its stakeholders meeting to look out the draft National Maritime Transport Plan and Strategy and I must confess there were a lot of critical or valuable inputs that were made and the documents have been further enriched.
“We hope that the Federal Executive Council approve the Transport Plan and Strategy and we would run with it…!”