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NIMS to revive shipping business, position Nigeria as African hub

Organisers are perfecting arrangements to hold the Nigerian International Maritime Summit (NIMS) in Lagos in October 2021 with the aim of renewing Nigeria’s shipping business through harnessing its numerous potential.

To them, the convergence of foreign and local experts would create the opportunity to deliberate and find solutions to issues limiting shipping development in Nigeria.

The summit, which would hold from October 5-6, 2021, will be a business event for international organisations, policymakers, regulators, development organisations, operators, service providers, and consumers in the industry.

Greg Ogbeifun, a board member of NIMS, said at the pre-event media briefing held in Lagos recently that NIMS would be an opportunity to revive the Nigerian shipping business and position it to become Africa’s hub.

Ogbeifun, who is also the chairman of Starz Group, said the event would also highlight the country’s agenda for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) with a focus on the maritime component.

Emeka Akabogu, chief executive officer of NIMS/ who doubles as senior partner, Akabogu & Associates, said the essence of NIMS was to develop Nigeria’s maritime sector and enable the creation of maritime cluster.

Read also: NIMASA begins wreck removal on Nigerian waters to boost safe shipping

“NIMS will help to identify partners in-country and abroad. It will also lead to the creation of virtual clusters for Nigerian maritime services, and will set up specific timelines for it to be achieved,” he said.

He pointed out that most maritime countries have identifiable maritime clusters, which essentially was an aggregation of credible service providers across the industry value chain.

According to him, this requires the building of profiles and the development of a database of service providers and operators in the industry.

“Though Nigeria has desired the maritime hub status in the West and Central Africa sub-region for decades but not much had been done to harness the potential and to stimulate the required activity,” he explained.

On her part, Mfon Usoro, chairperson of the NIMS Governing Board, said the event will strategically focus on industry-based issues targeted at making Nigeria a maritime superpower and regional hub.

She said the summit is also timely as Nigeria prepares for the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Governing Council elections that would take place later in the year.

Usoro however assured that NIMS would ensure that recommendations made by participants will reach the nation’s economic managers.

The 2-day event would feature a host of speakers including Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission; Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State.

Others include Wamkele Mene, secretary-general, AfCFTA Secretariat, and Binyah Kesselly, immediate-past director-general, Liberia Maritime Authority.

The summit will focus on issues such as Growing Nigeria’s Merchant Fleet with insights on ship financing, repair, shipyards, seafarer training, and development; Maritime Domain Awareness and Protection; blue economy and preservation of marine environment and security for commercial shipping among others.

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