By Sandra Chukwunyere
…Says The Sector is Faced With Challenges
The maritime industry of the Nigerian economy has been acknowledged as an industry that plays an important role in the development of the nation’s economy through what it contributions to nation’s covers.
The sector which is one of the highest earners for the Federal Government is also said to be faced currently with a lot of challenges.
This was disclosed by the president of the Alumni of Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron (AMANO) Akwa Ibom State, Engr. Austin Ume zurike during the association’s 2018/2nd National Convention held in Lagos last weekend.
According to the AMANO President, the maritime industry has played an important role in the development of our nation. As a country blessed with expansive coastal and numerous inland waterways, maritime trade has been parts and parcel of our economic development from the first encrussion of the European to trade in timber, cotton, cocoa, and slaves, to our modern day export of crude oil and gas. We have rich history with the seas and the rivers around us,” Ume zurike said.
The President used the opportunity to call on maritime government agencies, stakeholders, individual operators and the audience to use the opportunity being at the event to examine the issues affecting the maritime industry and how best to solve problems thereby realising the maritime industry of our desire.
Further said that though accomplishing such a tall dream or ambitious aspiration may seems to be very difficult but must be achieved because of the calibre of people and professionals Nigeria has.
”The maritime industry in Nigeria is faced with numerous challenges, from dwindling Nigerian owned tonnage, shortage of skilled manpower, piracy and kidnapping, improper implementation of Cabotage Act to underutilization of port facilities and the chaos at Apapa port complex. These are by no means insurmountable, but we do not wish to tackle all of them here during this event. Rather we aim to focus on two aspect of these challenges, which are very critical, namely; human capacity development and government policies in shipping development.”
Engr. Ume zurike assured participants at the convention that with the high level of professionals assembled at the event and the eminent personalities gathered at the AMANO’s event that spoke on the burning issues, provided solutions to the problems.
Speaking on what AMANO convention tends to achieve at the end, the president noted that: ”But the convention is not only about examining and gathering solutions to the numerous industry challenges, AMANO is a uniting platform for all ex-cadets of the academy with the aim of uplifting the welfare of its members, push for quality and improved leaning environment at the academy, and seek adequate and inclusive representation of its members in the affairs of the maritime industry in general. Our convention provides us the opportunity as alumni members, to converge and reminisce about our at our alma mater, catch up with our old mates and network.”
AMANO President also added: ”when we recognise some among us, and others in the wider industry, who have contributed to the achievement of AMANO, the academy and the industry. The recognitions are vital, as they ginger us to continue to strive to do our best to support our members the academy and the industry the best way we can.”