By Godfrey Bivbere
LAGOS—THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has disclosed that the maritime industry has assisted in boosting the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, by providing over a 100, 000 direct jobs and about two million indirect jobs even as it expressed worry that despite its contribution, it is not captured by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said this at an interactive session with newsmen in Lagos.
Peterside said: “We are pushing for a single data window system in the maritime sector, whereby NIMASA, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, and other relevant government agencies in the sector will share a common platform for data on all vessels calling at our ports. This will make it easy for the National Bureau of Statistics to capture the contributions of the maritime sector and the GDP of the country to enable those who make use of the figures to grow the economy to achieve better results.”
On the survey and inspection of vessels at Nigerian ports, he said: “Nigeria is no longer conducive for substandard vessels because they know that we are more vigilant and by this, we are ensuring the protection of our environment. We are strict on enforcement of standards and the international fleet feels more comfortable with our maritime terrain.”
Commenting on the issue of placing beneficiaries of the Agency’s Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) onboard ocean-going vessels for their mandatory sea-time training, he disclosed that currently, a total number of 289 cadets have commenced their training in Egypt and the United Kingdom on NIMASA full sponsorship.
Peterside also said that the Agency is working with a shipping firm in the United Arab Emirates UAE to give 100 Nigerian Seafarers sea time training spread over 10 years.