‘How Nigeria can emerge sub-regional shipping hub’

Cargo-ShipThe President and Chief Operating Officer of American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Asia Pacific region, Derek Novak has challenged Nigeria to build on its infrastructure and human capacity as part of measures to emerge as the shipping power house of West and Central Africa.

Meanwhile, the Sierra-Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has solicited the support of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the areas of capacity building of its personnel.

Speaking during a meeting with the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside at a maritime conference in Singapore, Novak identified Singapore as a great maritime nation from which Nigeria should seek closer ties.

He said ABS has been working with Nigeria for a long time, adding that the bureau will continue to maintain the high standards for which the ABS is known.

He promised to work with his counterpart in West and Central Africa so that NIMASA can benefit from some of the training opportunities ABS offers.

Peterside reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to continue to set high standards for vessels and oil platforms operating within Nigeria’s territorial waters in line with the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS ’74).

Peterside was quoted in a statement as saying Nigeria is not and cannot be a dumping ground for substandard vessels and therefore solicited the support and cooperation of classification societies such as ABS to establish and maintain high technical standards for construction and maintenance of vessels and other maritime structures.

He said the maritime sector, which is the facilitator of the national economy in Nigeria is growing at a rapid rate and therefore needs all the support it can get.

He advocated for regular ship survey to ensure compliance with set standards and assured the delegation that it is one of the priorities of the new administration in NIMASA.

The Chairman of SLMA, Lansana Dambuya, who led a delegation of some board members and management to NIMASA on a working visit, called for the endorsement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIMASA “that will give opportunity for the exchange of ideas among staff to not only develop their capacities but also further cement the bond between both countries”.
Responding, Peterside commended SLMA for embarking on the working visit and assured the delegation of NIMASA’s cooperation at all times.

The DG, who was represented by the Director of Maritime Labour Services, Mrs Juliana Gunwa, emphasised the need for collaborative efforts in order to ensure the growth and development of the maritime industry in Africa.

Tracing the history of the cordial relationship Nigeria has had with Sierra Leone, the DG assured the delegation that the Agency will consider their requests and act accordingly for the benefit of both countries.

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