The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh on Monday restated the agency’s commitment to human capacity development as the basic catalyst to grow the maritime sector in Nigeria.
Jamoh stated this today in Benin City when he led a team from the agency on a courtesy visit to Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki.
Obaseki said the Benin River Port project being championed by the state is critical and strategic to Nigeria’s economy, noting that the state government was willing to partner with NIMASA for its actualisation.
“Edo State is a nexus for Nigeria hence the strategic role the Benin River Port would play in the transportation of goods to other parts of the country. You can connect the east and west from Edo within two hours so that means in six hours goods from Apapa in Lagos will be everywhere in the country.
“We are locating this port in a place that is perhaps Nigeria’s largest and richest onshore gas reserve. You can imagine that this energy exists to drive whatever amount of industrialization that needs to be,” he said.
While commending NIMASA Management for the deep blue project aimed at improving security on the territorial waters, Obaseki stated that the economy of Nigeria must be diversified.
Earlier, the NIMASA DG, Dr. Jamoh said, “Shipping is the alternative to oil and the shipping sector in Nigeria can produce three quarter of the nation’s earnings from the oil sector.
“To achieve this, we at NIMASA are engaging the littoral states in Nigeria to develop strategies that would lead to maximizing the potentials of the sector within the next ten years when countries are targeting to end the use of fossil fuel.”
He commended the Edo State Government on the Benin River Port project, which he said would be a revenue booster for the state as he identified Kano, Plateau and Gombe states as states that have invested hugely in Inland Dry Port development, despite not being littoral states.