The bill to amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Act has passed the first reading on the floor of the Senate.
Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, chairman of the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, who announced this during a working visit by the committee to NIMASA operational offices in Lagos, said the Senate of the tenth assembly is committed to formulating policies that will ensure Nigerians enjoy the benefits of the blue economy.
He said a constructive evaluation of the existing maritime legal framework was necessary to ascertain gaps for possible review, pledging that the Senate under the leadership of Godswill Akpabio was committed to supporting the maritime sector.
He promised to support the vision of NIMASA which is geared towards enhancing the potential of the maritime sector for national growth and development.
“With the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by Mr. President, a message has been passed to all stakeholders that the maritime industry has a huge role to play in our nation-building. We must align with that vision, and we must support the government to achieve a better country for all Nigerians,” he said.
The Committee members unanimously acknowledged NIMASA’s investment in the acquisition and building of a strong safety and security architecture, adding that such an effort was a confirmation that NIMASA was conscious of its mandate and strategy as one of the major contributors to the country’s sustainable development.
In his welcome remarks, Bashir Jamoh, director general of NIMASA, said the Agency is committed to both human capacity and infrastructural development to grow the Nigerian blue economy.
Jamoh said that a well-developed marine and blue economy would be strong enough to service Nigeria’s annual budget because it encompasses all economic activities associated with the oceans and seas.
According to Jamoh, “NIMASA is working tirelessly to secure our waters and by extension, the Gulf of Guinea. The time has come for us as a nation to build on the recent gains in the area of safety and security of our waterways. Rest assured that NIMASA is utilising appropriated funds judiciously, evident in our investment in infrastructure.