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Dakuku advocates regional cooperation to boost African maritime security, development

…Envisages Continental Cargo
Increase
 

Chairman, Senate Committee on Marine Transport, Sen. Sani Rufai,
exchanging pleasantries with NIMASA Executive Director Operations, Engr. Rotimi
Fashakin, at the  Offshore Technology
Conference in Houston Texas.


The Director General of the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku
Peterside has stated that regional cooperation is key to the safety and
security of inbound and outbound goods and services to Africa through the
seas. 

Dr. Peterside who said this
while speaking at a technical workshop on Prospects, Challenges and
Opportunities for Regional Collaboration on the sidelines of the just concluded
Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston Texas, in the United States of
America, equally noted that the development of the maritime sector on the
African continent is hinged on regional cooperation. 
He further assured the select
international stakeholders of a renewed effort to enhance safety and security
in the Gulf of Guinea based on sustainable regional cooperation.
The NIMASA DG who was
represented by the Agency’s Executive Director Operations, Engineer Rotimi
Fashakin said that efforts at regional collaboration have led to signing of a
Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghanaian Maritime Administration amongst
others. 

He added that Africa particularly the Sub-Saharan region of the
continent stands to benefit from regional cooperation as this will enhance
participation in international shipping thus reversing the current trend of the
region having only an insignificant part of international cargo freight.
He noted that the Federal
Government of Nigeria supports regional integration as demonstrated with the
approved Integrated National Security Strategy (INSS) for the Nigerian maritime
sector which is designed to be implemented in collaboration with other
countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
“The oil & Gas industry
needs the maritime sector, particularly shipping, which is international in
nature for it to thrive. The fact that shipping is international in nature
makes collaboration particularly at the regional level inevitable. This will
serve as a catalyst for growth in the industry and we at NIMASA have recognized
this fact, thus our numerous collaborative efforts which have begun to yield
fruits” He said.
The NIMASA DG informed the
stakeholders that NIMASA has established a command and control centre for
enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional
cooperation amongst others, all geared towards an enhanced water security and
by extension, the entire region.
Dr. Peterside who is the current
Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) also
assured the international community that NIMASA will continue to collaborate
with other countries in sub Saharan Africa and beyond in order to realize its
vision of a prosperous maritime sector in Nigeria and the West and Central
African Sub-Region.
While calling for continuous
collaboration amongst partners across continents, the NIMASA DG noted that
improved profiling and information sharing on maritime criminality and
illegality, enhanced maritime domain awareness and surface to air patrol
capabilities, functional legal framework, integration of national inter-agency
efforts, amongst others are factors that can help bring solutions to the issues
related to insecurity in the maritime domain.
On his part, the Chairman of
NIMASA Governing Board, Rtd General Jonathan India Garba noted that regional
collaboration in the maritime sector is an effective measure to grow both human
and infrastructural capacity in the maritime sector, adding that the NIMASA
Board supports the Agency’s executive Management’s efforts at regional
integration.
Meanwhile, the Group Managing
Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Maikanti Baru,
during his visit to the NIMASA stand at the OTC, commended the Agency’s
Management for her efforts in seeking collaboration to grow the industry in
Nigeria.

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