By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Maritime Law Association, NMLA, has said that it is keeping a close eye on the recently commissioned Deep Blue project initiated by the Minister of Transportation and midwife by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, with a view to ensuring that the equipment is put in use to boost maritime trade and grow the economy.
Speaking to Vanguard in Lagos, President of the group and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Mrs. Funke Agbo, said that the criminal activities on the waters always impact the economic wellbeing of the nation.
Agbo who spoke at a cocktail in honour of the newly inaugurated executives of the group also said that all the problem we suffer on the sea, piracy, armed robbery on the sea, and a problem that affect the coastal areas are coming from the land, adding that if the issues on the land are not resolved, the problems on the sea cannot be resolved because the sea is just an extension of the land.
If the government does not deal with the economic situation in the country, it will always extend to the land so we all know what the problem is.
“Recently NIMASA launched the Deep Blue project, you can see the equipment that has been put into the project and the amount of money they spent.
“We are watching closely to ensure that they have values to deliver to Nigerians, the maritime community as far as the Deep Blue Sea project is concerned.
“We want to be a voice to assist the government by identifying how we can use the law and by using the courts and by using dispute resolution means, we can counter and combat some of the issues we are confronted with.
“We are in a time where shipping and international trade are very important in the economy of this country and as maritime practitioners, we know that maritime law, maritime practice, international trade from which we derived maritime law has been the cornerstone of any economy and we are blessed with a fantastic coastline in this country so we have that added advantage of being a coastal country.”