By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—DIRECTOR General, Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, has said it was not the mandate of the agency to set up a maritime university, stressing that the agency veered off its mandate when it went to establish a maritime university in Delta State.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Peterside said the new board of NIMASA had come up with what he termed a medium term strategic plan to achieve the core mandate of the agency.
“It is not the mandate of NIMASA to set up maritime universities. We met a NIMASA that had veered off its mandate,” he said.
He said that to enhance efficiency in the operations of the agency, the new board had come up with a policy to strengthen the zonal offices, adding that transactions can now be started and completed at those offices.
Peterside said already, the board had approved the building of zonal offices in Port Harcourt (Rivers State) and Warri (Delta State), adding that the agency had implemented the Cabotage Act to a substantial extent.
He said that the failure of the Aluminium Steel Company to effectively take off and high cost of bank charges were twin issues discouraging many from building vessels in the country.
“Aluminium and steel industry and huge finance are reasons why we don’t build vessels in Nigeria. People prefer to build their vessels outside. Our steel and aluminium industry is still at its infantile stage. The financial cost is another problem. So it is a private decision. We have accomplished a lot with the Cabotage Act but we will do more,” he said.
“The Cabotage Acts has been enforced in many areas. You have more Nigerians onboard local vessels than we used to have,” he said.