By Godwin Oritse
STAKEHOLDERS in the Nigerian maritime industry have called for a continued publication of the Maritime Forecast with a view to keeping everyone on their toes and aiding growth of the sector.
Maritime Forecast is a maritime industry research report introduced three years ago by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, detailing activities and performance results in the industry over a 12 month review period and also forecasting likely performance and industry prospects in the near and medium term.
The stakeholders are of the opinion that the forecast will give NIMASA a clear vision on its development plans and measures to keep in track with targets while carrying all stakeholders along with information.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report, the Chairman of the Ports Consultative Council, PCC, Otunba Kunle Folarin, described the forecast as a good document that should be sustained by the current administration.
He said forecasting outcomes or performance against outlined goals was important to organisations adding that NIMISA should not be an exception.
Folarin explained that “when an organisation puts out a forecast, it is basically making assumptions and these assumptions are based on many factors like stability in the country and the cash flow to achieve the forecast must be available within specific time.”
He opined that all the enabling factors must be in place for the forecasts to be realistic adding that NIMASA being a regulatory agency, and not an operational agency, can only forecast what operators in the industry can and should do to grow the sector and by extension the economy. “A forecast remains a forecast, it becomes an achievement when operating agencies like the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS do the needful”, he stated.
Speaking in a similar vein, the National Deputy President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, CILT, Mr. Alban Igwe, said that the forecast was beneficial for both NIMASA and the maritime industry as well as its auxiliary industries.
He said: “Forecast is a management tool to look at the industry against target.”
Also speaking on the annual forecast, Senior Special Assistant to former President, Gooodluck Jonathan on Maritime Matters, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said that “if the forecast will be in the interest of the agency, I advise that they continue where the last administration stopped.”
The former presidential aide also said that the current director general of the agency was a very focused man that will not hesitate to do anything that will add value to the agency.