Nigerian Navy books stand at 4th NIMAREX
Sets to showcase Nigeria’s 1st home-made warship, other Dockyard’s products, services
The Planning Committee for the fourth edition of the annual Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX), which holds March 10 – 12, 2014, was inaugurated in Lagos, with the Nigerian Navy (NN), stating that it intends to make its debut as an exhibitor at the annual event. According to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba, who was represented at the inauguration ceremony by Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai, the NN would book a stand at NIMAREX 2014 to showcase the products and services of the Nigerian Naval Dockyard (NND), Victoria Island, Lagos, including Nigeria’s first home-made warship.
The Navy chief explained that vessel had been subjected and scored highly in hardy sea trials, noting that a bigger warship was currently under construction at the NND.
Ezeoba said that the Navy would be making a big showing at NIMAREX 2014, considering its very successful hosting of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) meet earlier this year in Lagos at the traditional home of NIMAREX since inception in 2011 – Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
He noted that Nigeria’s hosting of the OPV meet had recorded much higher attendance than previous editions of the global event in other countries, and has, according to him, become a reference point for others, including that being organised by Ghana.
Ezeoba assured the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee of the Navy’s unstinting support towards a successful outing , noting that representatives of the NN in the committee, Bobai and Commodore Marcus Odey, had both served on the organising committee of the OPV meet in Lagos.
Similar assurances of enthusiastic support came from several other organisations represented in the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee, as the National Chairman of the Nigeria Shipwners Association (NISA), Chief Isaac Jolapamo, inaugurated the body at the Conference Room, Shippers’ Towers, the headquarters of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
The NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee has as Chairman, Barrister (Mrs.) Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, who will be assisted by Mr. Ayo Adedoyin, while Mr. Bolaji Akinola will serve as Secretary.
Jolapamo had lamented that Nigeria has not been able to match or compete favourably with certain countries that discovered their maritime potentials later than she did.
“These countries have excelled, not because not because they are better than us, but, rather, because of their respective government’s support and encouragement,” the NISA boss said.
He went on: “I have said it over and over again that the maritime industry in Nigeria, if properly harnessed, can become the largest employer of labour, as well as the second highest revenue generating sector after oil and gas, but our maritime potential remained largely untapped.
“The whole idea of NIMAREX, as with any other maritime expo worldwide, is to bring together everyone involved in ships from construction to scrapping, and NIMAREX has since incepyion grown from strength to strength over the years to achieve this objective. I dare say it has helped in placing Nigeria firmly on the world maritime map.”
Jolapamo thanked the Transport Minister and all the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Transport, and all others who have been supportive of the “noble cause” of NIMAREX.
Responding, the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee Chairman noted that she had inherited the chairmanship of NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee, in which had earlier been slated as Vice Chairman, owing to unforeseen circumstances.
Onyema-Orakwusi said that the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee was saddled with a huge responsibility, because, according to her, the previous editions of NIMAREX have set a standard that must be sustained.
Exhorting the Planning Committee members to give their best towards a remarkable outing for NIMAREX 2014, she said: “The Committee is going to showcase the industry, deliver NIMAREX in a manner that will shake the world.”
Members of the NIMAREX 2014 Planning Committee are drawn from, among others, the Federal Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NSC, NN, NISA, National Inland Waterways Aiuthority (NIWA), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), Skye Bank, and Fidelity Bank.