The bill to amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Act has passed the first reading on the Floor of the Nigerian Senate.
Wasiu Sanni Eshinlokun, chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, made this known during a working visit by the committee to NIMASA operational offices in Lagos, adding that the senate of the tenth assembly is committed to formulating policies that will ensure Nigerians enjoy the benefits of the blue economy.
Eshinlokun said that undergoing 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, in line with the vision of the Federal government.
“Let me inform you that the bill seeking amendment of the NIMASA Act has passed first reading on the floor of the senate.
I have to say on behalf of my colleagues that we are with you on this journey, and we will not hesitate to support your vision, in as much as such is geared towards enhancing the potential of the maritime sector for national growth and development.
He further said that with the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by the 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 the vision of the President, and we must support the government to achieve a better country for all Nigerians”, Sani said.
The Committee members unanimously acknowledged NIMASA’s investment in acquisition and building of a strong safety and security architecture, reiterating that such effort was a confirmation that NIMASA was conscious of its mandate and strategic status as one of Nigeria’s major contributors to the country’s sustainable development.
On his part Abdul Ningi, a member of the Committee commended NIMASA Management stating that much progress has been made over the years.
He noticed much progress has been made over the years since his previous visit to the Agency.
Bashir Jamoh, director general of NIMASA in his welcome speech noted that the Agency is committed to both human capacity and infrastructural development to grow the Nigerian blue economy.
Jamoh further stated 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 utilizing appropriated funds judiciously, evident in our investment in infrastructure. We will continue in the direction President has pointed with the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry,” he said.