The Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Mr. Temisan Omatseye has been elected to chair the D-8 Expert working group on Shipping.
The newly elected chairman of the group Mr. Temisan Omatseye in his acceptance speech said that Nigeria is open for business adding that this is a very exciting time to invest in the Nigerian maritime sector, particularly, shipping.
He also stated that the D-8 platform is providing the required superstructure for a globalised model to shipping development. He noted that the group will serve as a veritable platform for effective harmonisation of all collaborative efforts in the maritime sector.
The Honorable Minister of Transport Alhaji Yusuf Suleman, whose address was read by the acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Alhaji Suleman Nagogo noted that the meeting is with a view to fast track investment cooperation in the maritime sector and increase the share of trade amongst the Developing 8-countries.
The Minister assured representatives of the D-8 countries at the meeting of Nigeria’s commitment to recommendations and emphasized on the need to collaborate particularly in areas such as seafaring training, ship building and repairs.
Also addressing participants, the D-8 Commissioner for Nigeria, Ambassador Martin Ihoeghian Uhomoibhi expressed optimism that the collaboration will yield practical results for member countries. In his words “What is important to D-8 countries is to put food on the table of our people; and that is why we have come together to fashion out the best way to achieve our goal”
D-8 Secretary General Dr. Widi A. Pratikto said that the D-8 has taken into account the importance of shipping in the expansion of intra-trade amongst member states adding that the cooperation in the area of shipping will raise the group’s share of global trade to over 20% by 2018.
He noted that most D-8 countries have Ports for trading however, only a few of them have big Ports to accommodate their trade. He also said that several lessons of D-8 countries on shipping are promising for the future “by having a good action plan and project proposal, as well as a prime mover secretariat that functions to monitor and evaluate the agreed cooperation, we would achieve some progress in our shipping industry” he said.
The Developing Eight Countries Organization for Economic Cooperation (D-8) is made up of Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran Malaysia Nigeria Pakistan and Turkey.
Terms of Reference adopted at the first D-8 Expert Working Group on Shipping include the adoption of a regional policy framework for promoting and strengthening of intraD-8 shipping services, encourage shipping companies, ship owners, ship building and ship repair yards of member countries to enter into mutual agreements inorder to promote and develop maritime transportation. Others include collaboration to enhance maritime safety and security and protection of the marine environment, and enhance collaboration among member countries on maritime training, especially in the acquisition of sea time experience by seafarers.