Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has expressed appreciation for the confidence reposed in him by industry stakeholders, vowing that he will not fail them.
Speaking during a Maritime Industry Reception organised in his honour by the stakeholders at Eko Hotel on Wednesday night, Jamoh said the task ahead in repositioning the agency is not an easy one calling on stakeholders to collaborate and support his administration.
He assured that NIMASA under his watch would work within its mandate to meet the aspirations of stakeholders.
He said, “We have our own mandate. We need your assistance and support to be able to actualise this mandate. Your support, understanding and guidance are always going to be our watchword. I cannot do it alone. Join me and support me to get these things right to reposition the agency for the betterment of us all. I assure you we will do everything possible not to fail you.”
The reception was attended by several major industry stakeholders including shipowners, terminal operators, maritime lawyers, shipping agents, women groups and many others.
The newly elected Executive Directors of the agency also attended the event, which marked their first interaction with the maritime stakeholders.
The industry operators took turns to applaud the appointment of Jamoh, expressing hope that his appointment, given his years and wealth of experience will attract more development to the industry.
Speaking at the event, a former Minister of Interior and Chairman, Integrated Oil and Gas Limited, Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho, said Jamoh’s appointment was an answer to the prayers of the industry stakeholders who had yearned for an insider to properly position the agency to achieve its mandate.
Iheanacho, urged Jamoh to focus more on the regulatory mandate of the agency instead of revenue generation while ensuring that that the guidelines set up for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is fair and equitable to assist indigenous operators.
Former President, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Aminu Umar, urged Jamoh to address insecurity in Nigeria’s maritime domain and build indigenous capacity.
“One of the issues that have been on the front burner for shipping is piracy. We cannot discuss enough the damage that piracy is doing to us presently in all the sectors of the maritime industry. We will love the DG and his management to put this as their top priority and promote, protect the interest of indigenous shipowners,” he said.
Also speaking, Chairman Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess (Dr.) Vicky Hasstrup, sought the intervention of the NIMASA Director-General for the relocation of tank farms from the port area.
Hasstrup said the concentration of tank farms within the port environment poses dangerous threat to the port businesses.
She said, “We are sitting on a keg of gun powder. It is only in Nigeria that I see tank farms sitting in the middle of a city. We have almost 63 tank farms sitting right in Apapa. Can you imagine if just one of the tank farms blows up? We need the tank farms to be relocated. Please help us inform appropriate authorities to relocate the tank farms far away from the port area.”
On her part, Chairman, Shipowners Forum, Barrister (Mrs.) Magret Onyema-Orakwusi urged the NIMASA boss to revive the moribund Nigerian Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) to enable Nigeria showcase the potentials of the maritime industry to investors.