Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Maritime Expo (NIMAREX) 2013 Planning Committee, Barrister (Mrs) Margaret Onyema-Orakwusi, is optimistic that the Nigerian maritime industry will experience significant growth this year.
Onyema-Orakwusi made this known at the International Maritime Press Centre, Apapa, Lagos yesterday when she addressed a press conference on plans to host the international maritime conference and exhibition in Nigeria this year.
“A lot of us are certainly not excited about events in the sector since independence but we are not in despair. There are a lot of plans to open up the sector this year. The Presidential Committee set up last year by President Jonathan to chart a roadmap and create the path for sustainable development of the Maritime Industry has concluded its assignment and we have assurances that the Committee’s recommendations will be implemented by government this year.
“We are also not resting on our oars at NIMAREX. We have a public-private partnership in place to open up the sector and what we’re doing at NIMAREX is not just talk shop. We are spearheading a silent revolution which will also begin to yield fruits this year,” the NIMAREX Vice Chairman stated.
She explained that IMAREX is an annual event hosted jointly by the Federal Ministry of Transport together with its various parastatals and stakeholders in the maritime industry to showcase the nation’s enormous maritime endowments to the rest of the world.
NIMAREX 2013, according to her, will be declared open by President Goodlcuk Jonathan on March 12, 2013, at Eko Hotel, Lagos, while former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State Abdulsalam Abubakar; Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar; and former Africa Region Vice President of the World Bank, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili, are among dignitaries expected to participate in this year’s expo.
Onyema-Orakwusi also disclosed that the theme of this year’s maritime is Nigerian Maritime: Invest Now.
“The first two editions tagged NIMAREX 2011and NIMAREX 2012, declared open by representatives of President Goodluck Jonathan and held at the Expo Hall, Eko Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos recorded monumental attendance by various interest groups and international maritime companies. Two former Heads of State, Retired General Yakubu Gowon and Chief Ernest Shonekan; and representative of the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Mr. Koji Sekimizu, attended the event.
“While NIMAREX 2011 and NIMAREX 2012 have been hailed as huge successes with the quality of participants and exhibitors, arrangements are in top gear to ensure that NIMAREX 2013surpasses the first two editions in all ramifications”, she stated.
She said that the NIMAREX 2013 Planning Committee is made up of government officials drawn from various agencies and major private sector stakeholders who have been working round the clock in the past six months to ensure a successful event.
“We are expecting a lot of international maritime companies from all over the world as well as major shipping companies operating in Nigeria and the international oil companies. NIMAREX 2013 will not only set a new pace for the industry but will be a pride to all maritime industry practitioners,” she stated.
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