The Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to enhance security and capacity development in the maritime industry through collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the sector.
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Ruqayyah Saraki, made this known in Abuja at the inauguration of the Joint Committee on Security and Capacity Development for the Maritime Industry.
Saraki disclosed that the purpose of the collaboration was to bring together all stakeholders in the maritime sector to ensure capacity building and job creation, aimed at improving security and strategies for the advancement of the maritime industry in line with global best practices.
The potential in the industry, according to her, when fully utilised would positively impact the lives of the citizens and reduce youth’s restiveness in the country.
Saraki bemoaned the challenges of sea piracy in the country, stating that “a lot was being lost by member states as a result of lack of harmonious working relationship.”
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, who was represented by the Director, Special Duties, Kafayat Salami, said the committee was set up by the Honourable Minister of State to provide a veritable platform to cross-fertilise ideas and identify challenges in the maritime industry.
Ajani, therefore, enjoined the members who were drawn from various sectors of the industry to use their sectorial experiences in advising the government on ways to improve the sector,.
She said, “Nigeria is yet to maximise its potential in the maritime industry and these has to do with our inability to address critical challenges such as the underutilisation of the eastern ports, ineffective implementation of the cabotage regime and the insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea amongst others.”
She thanked the Minister of State for Transportation fr the initiative to constitute a committee to reposition the Nigerian maritime industry for better performance and enhanced productivity that is geared towards building an efficient maritime industry that would guarantee sustainable socio-economic development.
On her part, the Chairperson House Committee on Maritime Education and Administration, Lynda Chuba Ikpeazu, reiterated the support of the National Assembly with the collaboration as it is geared towards enhancing service delivery in the Industry.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman Governing Board, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, retired Rear Admiral J.A Ajani, said the board would formulate policies and design strategies which would aid the implementation of the partnership with the ministry, the academy and the Nigerian Navy.
Also speaking, the Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, retired Commodore Duja Emmanuel Effedua, welcomed the initiative and expressed readiness to collaborate with other stakeholders.
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