By ORU LEONARD
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that the hosting of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) will boost Nigeria’s quest of emerging a hub of maritime destination for the West and Central African region.
The Director General, who spoke in Lagos at the weekend, noted that the hosting of AAMA, which is currently the biggest maritime event on the continent will assemble all the major operators in Abuja for the duration of the event.
According to Dr. Peterside, apart from showcasing Nigeria’s Maritime Potentials to the Maritime Community in Africa, it will also bring about interactions, business meetings, exchange of ideas and contacts among the maritime stakeholders across Africa including those from Nigeria.
He said, “In addition to the maritime administrations that would be attending the event other critical stakeholders such as shipping companies, terminal operators, shipping agents, freight forwarders and other sundry maritime and shipping services providers would also be in attendance and this will bring about exchange of ideas and contacts with the Nigerian stakeholders” Peterside said.
The NIMASA DG also said that 32 countries from all parts of Africa are expected to participate at the continental conference and a number of maritime stakeholder organizations around the world. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) delegation will be led by Mr. Kitack Lim the Secretary General of IMO which is a United Nations specialized agency that regulates shipping globally.
Dr. Peterside also said that the convening of these Maritime Administrators in Nigeria would afford the country the opportunity of improving its economy via the maritime sector as issues such as Ports development and its modernization, maritime tourism, shipbuilding and repairs will be at the front burner of the discussions.
He equally added that interactions among importers, exporters, shipping firms, freight forwarders and even chandelier’s, among several others will ultimately lead to increase in maritime activities in Nigeria thereby helping the country attain the desired hub port status within the sub-regions and ultimately advance the Nigerian economy.
It would be recalled that the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) was formed following the signing of the African Transport and Maritime Charter in 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to bring together all players in the African maritime sector. The Association is an umbrella body of five African Maritime Stakeholders’ groups namely: Association of Maritime Administrations of Africa, Africa’s Ship Registry Forum, African Ship Owners Association as well as Africa Shippers’ Council and Seafarers’ Forum with the aim of promoting the development of Africa’s maritime regulatory and maritime environment.
This would be the third conference of the Association.
The event which is themed “Sustainable use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas” will hold from 19th t0 21st of April 2017 and also feature the unveiling of the new NIMASA brand by President Muhammadu Buhari.