By Innocent Orok
The House of Representatives Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has given a thumps up to the budget implementation status of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), saying the Agency has done creditably well, despite the coronavirus pandemic. This commendation was given by the Chairman of the committee, Hon. Lynda Ikpeazu, during an oversight visit to the agency’s head office in Lagos by members of the committee.
Ikpeazu had expressed confidence in the current management of NIMASA led by the Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh. She said Dr. Jamoh had laid down a clear roadmap for taking the Agency to greater heights, and pledged the lower chamber’s support.
Jamoh had on assumption of duty as Director General in March 2020 launched a three-pronged agenda for the maritime industry development focused on Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development.
The House Committee chairman said by that agenda, “the Director General has laid a good foundation for the committee and the committee is here to monitor the activities of the Agency for 2020 and see how it has performed so far and further legislative assistance that can be brought to bear in order to generate more revenue for the government.”
She added, “the DG of NIMASA is doing his best to ensure that he repositions the Agency to make sure the Agency delivers on its core mandates. We will make sure we give the DG all the necessary support he needs because we have seen him moving towards the right direction and, most especially, he has made it clear to us that he wants to address insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea. The issue of insecurity goes a long way in affecting revenue generation in the maritime sector.”
Ikpeazu also revealed that the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act (Cabotage) Amendment Bill had gone through First Reading in the House of Representatives and that the proposed amendment will reflect contemporary issues that would be beneficial to indigenous shipowners in the country.
According to her “a more responsive Cabotage law will stimulate opportunities and policies for giving seafarers jobs and improve on shipbuilding capacity,”
The DG of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, in his response, thanked the committee for the cooperation and support it had accorded NIMASA. He said under his watch human capacity development in the maritime industry would continue to take pride of place.
Jamoh said, “Human beings are the most important link in the maritime industry and at the same time the weakest and most complicated in the industry. This administration will take the issue of training and capacity development of staff serious and we have gone further to maintain a close relationship with the maritime workers union to ensure that dockworkers are properly trained.”