…Jamoh tasks Nigerians on vast opportunities in maritime industry***
The Chairman, Nigerian Ship Owners Forum, Barr. Margaret Orakwusi, in her comment at the event, lauded Buhari for the appointment of a career staff, Dr. Bashir Jamoh as the new Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Nigeria’s foremost shipping mogul, Engr. Greg Utomwen Ogbeifun and former Minister of the Interior, a guru in the oil and gas, Capt. Emmanuel Iheanacho were amongst the first noteworthy stakeholders to make the same remarks.
Barr. Orakwusi however stressed the need for the new management of the Agency to focus on the Agency’s core functions, urging Jamoh and the management to ensure adequate empowerment of the workforce and stakeholders.
“We thank President Buhari for this gesture. It gives hope to the younger ones that staff can become Director-General,” she stated, noting that with Jamoh leading the team, the maritime sector was headed for radical improvement and a brighter future.
Jamoh as DG is leading a new NIMASA Executive Management comprising Victor Ochei, Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services; Chudi Offodile, Executive Director Finance and Administration and Alhaji Shehu Ahmed, Executive Director Operations; all whom the stakeholders hosted to a reception last Thursday.
Orakwusi also urged more attention to issues of maritime safety and security, and sued for the revival of the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), saying it is a unique avenue to show the world Nigeria’s rich maritime potential.
The revered fishing trawler guru rekindled hope for the long-desired return of Nigeria to Category C of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Council, saying it can be achieved with proper direction at the helm of the country’s maritime regulatory Agency.
Speaking in the same vein, a renowned maritime industry conscience and Chairman, Ports Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin, noted that the expectations of the government and stakeholders in the maritime industry were high; hence, a career minded person would be a round peg in a round hole.
He tasked Jamoh: “Manpower development is key. Don’t stop. We have the population. Expectations of Nigerians are high.
“We want people like the DG in the industry who can use their intellect to power the industry. Manpower development from the land and the sea is necessary in the world of maritime, because India and Philippines have done it. It must be realised in our time because we are determined to make you succeed.”
Pioneer Chairman of the Indigenous Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), now Nigeria Ship Owners Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, noted that shipping could not be developed on the platform of politics, stressing, however, that politics cannot be removed from shipping.
Jolapamo urged the new NIMASA management to look inwards in the fight against sea piracy.
“I know you will not go on rocks because you know where to put the ship. I am sure you will be successful by the time you conclude your term,” he said.
Former NISA president, Aminu Umar, said, “Piracy is key. The new management should make it to the front burner. I have confidence that the team is capable. NIMASA should focus on promoting, protecting, and providing for ship-owners. It should engage stakeholders more. Just listen more to us.”
Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, emphasised the need to prioritise the training of dockworkers.
Haastrup sought greater attention to security on land, especially, within the maritime environment, and appealed for more effective measures to solve the Apapa access challenges.
In his remarks, Jamoh assured that though the task ahead was big, with the assistance of stakeholders in the industry, he would not disappoint popular expectations in the sector.
He told the gathering, “We will consult with stakeholders so that we will not be in dilemma. I am here to listen to you and take note of what you expect us to do.
“We need your assistance, support and guidance to achieve what we set out to achieve according to the mandate of the Agency. Let us work together so that the maritime sector can be prosperous in Nigeria.”
Those present at the event included former Directors-General of NIMASA, Ade Dosunmu and Temisan Omatseye amongst others.
In the meantime, the NIMASA Boss has advised Nigerians to get involved in vast Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) businesses in Nigerian maritime industry.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, gave the advice in Enugu during the NIMASA Special Day at the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair.
Jamoh who was represented by Mr Victor Onuzuruike, Director of Special Duties, said that SMEs could come in and provide services and products needed by seafarers and also tap from the enormous wealth of the blue economy (wealth of the seas).
He noted that ordinary Nigerians with low capital could engage in making of fishing nets, provide big threads for pulling or anchoring light ships, boats, ferries, tugs among others.
“Nigerians at the SMEs level can also provide catering services for seafarers and their on-land support staff; provide vessel cleaning, laundry and refuse collection services.
“You can tap from the maritime business by providing fresh and hygienic water on board of vessels as well as painting, decoration and wielding services as well.
“All these are just what Nigerians can do in the coastlines and earn a living and employ some hands as well to assist them,’’ he said.
Jamoh specifically advised that apart from the popular clearing and forwarding, as well as trucking services; Nigerians could also provide storage facilities, cold stores and security patrol services on-shore and in-land offices of the shipping companies.
The director-general noted that the maritime industry was not only for the very rich or big time players; as some lower products and services needed in the sector had been reserved for Nigerians by the Cabotage law.
He also urged Nigerians to take advantage of free short-term seafaring trainings as well as other programmes of the Maritime University to learn more about the sea and get employed to work directly in ships.
Earlier, President of the Chamber, Chief Emeka Nwandu, said that NIMASA had provided the needed security and safety in the nation’s coastlines.
Nwandu called on Nigerians to take advantage of the SMEs businesses opened at the ports and other coastline areas.