NIMASA Urges China To Partner Nigeria On Maritime Sector Dev

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The Director-General of
the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has urged the Chinese Government to collaborate with the Nigerian maritime sector for economic growth.
This is contained in a statement by the Head of Corporate Communication of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, obtained by our correspondent in Lagos recently.
The statement said that the director-general received the Acting Chinese Consul-General, Mr. Li Yong, who paid a courtesy visit to the agency
According to him, the Nigerian maritime sector holds the key to unlocking the opportunities of the sector in the whole of Africa because of our strategic location, population and volume of trade.
The statement said  if anyone wanted to do business in Africa, Nigeria is the place of choice.
The director-general also stated that the Agency was willing to partner with the Chinese Maritime Administration in the areas of ship  building and recycling, on-board training for cadets as well as technical support.
He said that collaboration with various stakeholders across the globe was fundamental to unlocking the maritime opportunities in Nigeria.
Peterside said that cooperation among the Global South countries was the way to drive emerging economies to the height of development.
He commended the Chinese Government for its willingness to strengthen the Nigerian-China relationship as evident in the major developmental projects across the country.
In his response, Yong said that he was happy with the China-Nigerian relationship, adding that the Chinese Central Government was willing to partner with Nigeria in the areas of technological advancement and information sharing.
The Chinese envoy also expressed his government’s determination to support Nigeria in the fight against piracy and other criminal activities at sea.
Meanwhile, the current administration of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has pledged to adhere to statutory due diligence in the administration of the Cabotage Fund.
The NIMASA Director-General (DG), Dr Dakuku Peterside, said that with the clamour for a national shipping line, there was every need to strengthen the administration of the fund.
Peterside told newsmen  on the sidelines of a news conference in Lagos on Sunday that the fund was set-up to encourage Nigeria ship owners to be able to acquire and maintain vessels.
The DG regretted the spate of maladministration that had become the lot of the fund in the recent past, which he said, had made it inoperative.
“We are aware of the complaints of the contributors (ship owners) of the fund and their predicament in accessing it.
“The fund, if well administered, will ensure that Nigeria has sea going vessels at all times, with a large number of Nigerian seafarers on board.
“It is a pride to see our national flag hoisted on transnational vessels,’’ Peterside said.
According to him, the idea will absorb many of the country’s trained but idle seafarers, thereby adding to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that the administration would tend to emulate countries like the Philippines in exporting seafarers to other countries, thereby stemming piracy on board.
Peterside said that the agency was training middle-cadre manpower at the maritime academy at Oron, while the senior officers were being trained abroad.
He noted that NIMASA’s primary objective did not include the setting-up of a Maritime University, as was being propelled by the ousted leadership of the agency.
“The Cabotage Fund, under the present leadership, will be channelled for what it is meant for and not for a university.