The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to enhance security and capacity development in the maritime industry.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki made this known at the inauguration of the Joint Committee on Security and Capacity Development for the Maritime Industry in Abuja.
Saraki in a statement on Wednesday said the collaboration would improve security and strategies for the advancement of the maritime industry in the country.
According to her, the purpose of the collaboration is to bring together all stakeholders in the maritime sector to ensure capacity building and job creation.
”It is aimed at improving security and strategies for the advancement of the maritime industry in line with global best practices.
“The potential in the industry when fully utilised will positively impact in the lives of the citizens and reduce youths’ restiveness in the country, ” she said.
Saraki, however, bemoaned the challenges of sea piracy in the country, saying that a lot was being lost by member states as a result of lack of harmonious working relationships.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said the committee was set up to provide a veritable platform to cross-fertilise ideas and identify challenges in the maritime industry.
Ajani, represented by the Director, Special Duties, Kafayat Salami, therefore, enjoined the members who were drawn from various sectors of the industry to use their sectorial experiences in advising the government on ways to improve the sector.
“Nigeria is yet to maximise its potential in the maritime industry and this has to do with our inability to address critical challenges.
”The challenges are under-utilisation of the eastern ports, ineffective implementation of the cabotage regime and the insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea amongst others. “
She thanked the minister of state for constituting a committee to reposition the Nigerian maritime industry for better performance and enhanced productivity.
Ajani said the committee would work toward building an efficient maritime industry that would guarantee sustainable socio-economic development.
The Chairman, House Committee on Maritime Education and Administration, Ms. Lynda Ikpeazu, reiterated the support of the National Assembly with the collaboration, as it was geared toward enhancing service delivery in the industry.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Governing Board, Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, retired Rear Admiral Jacob Ajani, said the board would formulate policies and design strategies to aid the implementation of the partnership with the ministry.
Ajani said that the policies would also affect positively the activities of the Maritime Academy and the Nigerian Navy.
Also, the Rector, MAN Oron, retired Commodore Duja Effedua, welcomed the initiative and expressed readiness of the academy to key into the collaboration.
Effedua also informed the stakeholders on the upgraded facilities and the certification of its courses by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
It was reported that Chief of Naval Engineering, Rear Admiral Suleiman El- Ladan, Acting Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Adaji Asma’u, Director, PRS, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Alhaji Musa Talle, among others attended the meeting.