By Godfrey Bivbere
Lagos—Describing the nation’s apex maritime regulatory body, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, as a “behemoth” that has performed woefully in the execution of the numerous briefs it is saddled with, leading maritime lawyer, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, has called for the “unbundling” of the agency.
Agbakoba, the Principal Partner of Olisa Agbakoba Legal, OAL, who briefed newsmen in Lagos on the need to reposition the maritime sector, which, according to him, could become Nigeria’s major revenue generator in the face of the prevailing free fall in oil prices, said NIMASA had become inefficient because it had taken on too many responsibilities in maritime administration.
The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA and the founding President of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, said: “I still hold the view that NIMASA should be unbundled. NIMASA was first the National Maritime Authority, NMA and, then, it swallowed the Government Inspector of Shipping. Even that original NMA Law, there were too many things; there was cabotage, ship development, cargo allocations. Safety and security was the Government’s Inspector of Shipping, but NIMASA swallowed it.”