The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has made proposal to the Federal Government to provide “different kinds of incentives” for stakeholders in the maritime sector.
NIMASA Director-General, Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in Lagos on Friday. He, however, did not disclose the type of incentives proposed by the agency or the potential beneficiaries.
The NIMASA Director-General also said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation is putting finishing touches to arrangements for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), stressing that operators would soon begin to access the fund.
He said, “We have made proposals to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for approval to grant different kinds of incentives that would help us grow the industry. We are also working to ensure the disbursement of the CVFF. We believe that other sectors, like manufacturing and aviation, have leveraged on this sort of incentive to grow and that is the reason we are also looking in that direction.”
Jamoh also said that the agency is partnering with the Nigerian Navy to fight crime on the waterways using intelligence and technology.
He said the NIMASA management team led by him will focus on maritime safety, maritime security, and shipping development.
He said, “Collapsing our agenda into security, safety and shipping development has given us a bird’s eye view of the challenges inherent in our sector. Our strategy of nipping piracy in the bud is yielding positive fruit and that is why the Navy and the Police have arrested a total of 27 suspected pirates in the last two months.
“Our findings have revealed that these criminals work with the cooperation of international allies and that is what makes them sophisticated. We have set out to tackle them through intelligence gathering and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Our recent arrests have shown the international community that we are not handling illegalities in our waters with kid gloves.”
He said NIMASA will, this week, commence the prosecution of suspected pirates recently arrested under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.
Jamoh said the agency was mounting a spirited campaign to root out piracy and armed robbery in the country’s waters.