By Sandra Chukwunyere
|Amidst dwindling fortunes from crude oil, maritime is believed to be one industry that is viable enough to sustain the nation.|
It is against this background that the Governor of Bayelsa State Senator Duoye Diri, is calling for the partnership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA ) to fully unlock the maritime economy of his state.
Douye who underscored the strategic role of NIMASA in Federal Government’s efforts to diversity the economy and liberate the country from the nightmare of over dependence on oil revenue that is no longer sustainable, sounded it loud and clear that the future lies in Maritime development.
”A lot of countries are moving away from fossil fuel and maritime gives Nigeria an alternative”, said Governor Diri during a courtesy call on the Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
Diri urged the NIMASA to make it’s presence more visible in Bayelsa through capacity building of the youths on diverse areas of maritime business, promotion of security of the maritime environment and building investor’s confidence in the enomous potential that abounds in the state, to mention but a few.
Among other demands, the governor called on NIMASA to partner this government in building a maritime academy in his state as well as the development of the Agge Deep Seaport in Ekeremor Local Government Area.
His words,” We are, seeking partnership with NIMASA, which is the apex maritime regulatory agency of our country, to expand her regulatory activities to our state.”
“NIMASA and Bayelsa are inextricably one,” and there was need for both to work together to strengthen the country’s maritime domain.
“The eight local governments in our state can be accessed by water. In fact, the headquarters of three of these local governments can only be reached by water. This shows how important our state is to maritime development”.
He went on to appeal to NIMASA to help in the removal of wrecks that had impaired navigation in many parts of the coastal state.
Welcoming the governor, the NIMASA DG Dr. Jamoh described Bayelsa State as one the Agency’s strongest allies in the pursuit of its mandate of sustainable regulation and promotion of the maritime sector.
He said security was of utmost importance in the realisation of a prosperous maritime sector, and promised to facilitate the incorporation of Bayelsa State in the ongoing effort to integrate the maritime domain awareness facilities of relevant stakeholders, including NIMASA’s C4i, Nigerian Navy’s Falcon Eye, Nigerian Ports Authority’s C3i, and the i247 of the Nigeria Police.
“Bayelsa State holds the key to the growth of our economy because a huge part of our coastline falls within the state. Thankfully, the issue of wreck removal has been sorted out and we have concluded the marking and identification of all wrecks and derelicts across the country for removal.”
Jamoh assured the governor of the Agency’s support “in ensuring the growth of maritime in his state even as he said the possibility “expanding our office in Bayelsa in order to have more presence in the state.”