Increasing trade volume, foreign direct investments indicative of Nigeria’s economic development, says NIMASA DG

 NIMASA Director-General,  Ziakede Akpobolokemi
Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says the increasing volume of trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) is indicative of the nation’s economic development.
He made the remark while giving his goodwill message at the just-concluded 10th All Nigerian Editors Conference, which took place recently in Katsina State.

The director-general noted that a strong economy was necessary and important for a stable democracy, which can be created through credible election, to enable the citizens fulfil their individual and collective aspirations.

Akpobolokemi, who was represented by the Deputy Director/Head of Public Relations, Mr Isichei Osamgbi, said the theme of the conference, ‘Credible Elections and Good Governance, the Role of the Editor’ was timely as Nigeria was putting finishing touches to the next general elections.

 He said Nigerians had reasons to be positive about the future as the economy had been acknowledged to be on track to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020.

According to Akpobolokemi, Nigeria had been classified among MINT countries projected to be future economic leader, which include Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey. He made reference to the nation’s status as Africa’s largest economy, which rose from 52nd position in the year 2000 in the Gross Domestic Product, to 40th in 2005 and 26th in 2014. 

In his words: “Nigeria is recognised as an emerging market with expanding financial service, communications, and entertainment sectors. Its re-emergent manufacturing sector is the third-largest on the continent, and produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African sub-region. This is why we, at NIMASA play a key role in ensuring that international and local operators have absolute confidence in the Nigerian maritime environment.”

He assured that NIMASA would continue to deliver on its own mandate and explained that the recent Memorandum of Understanding the Agency signed with the Nigerian Air Force to complement that with the Nigerian Navy was a way of further safeguarding the country’s maritime domain.

The director-general explained: As we all know, safety of lives and property is a significant prerequisite for the growth and investment in any institution, sector or society. This is why maritime safety and security is engrained in us in NIMASA. It is a way of life; an aspect that is never compromised.”

In order to effectively cover Nigeria and eight other countries under the Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Centre, NIMASA has put in place robust maritime domain awareness and response system, which led to the birth of the NIMASA Satellite Surveillance Centre.

“Our desire is to provide safety for all those doing business within Nigerian waters. With the NIMASA Satellite Surveillance Centre, the Agency is now able to respond to any distress call on Nigerian waters and even beyond. The new 24-hour Satellite Surveillance equipment has the capability to detect boats, ships and objects of predefined cross-section floating on water,” Akpobolokemi further said.

He also reiterated the Agency’s commitment to human capacity development, which is demonstrated in the recent launch of the Nigeria Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta State, to complement the Agency’s sponsorship of maritime institutes in four universities, namely the University of Lagos; University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State; and Niger Delta University, Amassoma, Bayelsa State.