By Gloria Afajagbe
The outgoing Minister of Transportation, Mu-azu Sambo, has commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the successful inauguration of two critical projects in Port Harcourt, which are expected to boost the execution of the mandate of the Agency.
The Minister identified the projects as the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies in the University of Port Harcourt, as well as the new NIMASA Zonal Headquarters in Port Harcourt, which is located at the GRA Phase 1 in the heart of the Garden City.
The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr Magdalene Ajani, noted that the successful completion of the two infrastructure projects along with others being commissioned by the agency in other parts of the country was a demonstration of commitment, dedication, in line with the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari in the maritime sector.
Unveiling the Centre at the University of Port Harcourt, the Minister said: “This is evidence of Federal Government’s determination to provide infrastructure.
“The target is to boost human capital development. This place will serve as a centre to develop competitiveness.”
The Minister noted that students would need first-rate facilities to compete with the global maritime community; hence “they will have world class facilities to train and aspire to contest with the best in the world in their chosen field.”
At the new zonal headquarters of NIMASA in Port Harcourt, the Minister said the new complex would help in planning and carrying out effective regulation of the maritime sector.
He said the successful establishment of the Maritime Clinic at the new complex would be very beneficial to the zone especially seafarers and in rescue efforts.
Earlier in his address at the Centre for Logistics and Transport Studies in the UNIPORT, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, noted that the Logistics Centre was expected to produce workers that would lead Nigeria’s maritime industry to global levels.
He disclosed that the desire to set up such a centre was nurtured in 2018 during his research for his doctorate degree when it was found that a need existed to investigate the factors of insecurity in the maritime industry and their solutions.
Dr Jamoh said the research unveiled factors such as greed, poverty, poor governance, poor human capital capacity, and some others which he said needed to be tackled if the sector was to make meaningful stride.
The DG said: “Education and training are key to anything government wants. The maritime industry is in disarray but we have gone far to install stability.
“We have engineered policy management and policies that can move maritime industry to global levels, and these policies will help the youth to contribute to the growth of the economy.”
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Clifford Ofurum, who represented the Vice Chancellor, Prof Owunari Abraham Georgewill, commended the DG of NIMASA for doing everything possible to make the establishment and construction work of the centre a reality.
The deputy vice chancellor, however, made a case for furnishing and equipping the centre.
At the new zonal headquarters, the DG commended the staff members and wondered how they coped over the decades in the bad condition of the rented apartment.
He, however, urged them to be ready to perform their tasks and to double their revenue grossing especially in oil lifting rates.
He announced the arrival of 11 armoured vessels for the Agency to help in the fight against piracy.
He also told the staff in the zone to expect two bullet-proof buses to enable them carry out their field duties of enforcement and regulation.
Other dignitaries that graced the commissioning events included the Ag. Board Chairman of NIMASA, Mohammed Abubakar; Board Member, Hon Adekole Adefemi, and the Director of Special Duties, Mr Isichei Osamgbi.