By Godfrey Bivbere
THE former President of Indigenous Ship-owners Association of Nigeria, ISAN, Isaac Jolapamo, has said that the new management at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, should focus more on the development of local shipping capacity to help maximise potentials of the sector for the benefit of the nation’s economy.
Earlier last week while briefing the media on his first 100 days in office, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, had said that his regime has already prioritised shipping development as one of the three key focus in his three-S strategy. Speaking with Vanguard Maritime Report in Lagos, Jolapamo said regulation and other activities that the agency had been focusing on in the past has benefitted neither the industry nor the nation. He added that the best way to go is to set an annual target of ship acquisition for the country.
The former ISAN boss pointed out the NIMASA can achieve this in two ways; either by direct acquisition or by giving the necessary backing to known ship owners to acquire the much needed asset.
He stressed that it is only in the acquisition of these vessels that regulation can be productive while the foreign ship owners who are desirous to continue operating in the nation will be forced to comply with such regulations.
He noted that the multiplier effect of owning one vessel in terms of revenue and employment can be imagined because it is huge, adding that every ship needs bunkering, chanelling services, dry dock services, employment for sea farers, sea time training of thousands of cadets rooming the streets.
He, therefore, charged the new management of NIMASA to pay more attention to shipping development if they truly want improvement in the sector.
Jamoh had said that NIMASA under him have decided to collapse the agenda of the agency into security, safety and shipping development and has given the agency a “bird’s-eye view of the challenges inherited in our sector.