FG inaugurates enforcement boats, others to boost maritime safety

By Chiazo Ogbolu

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, has inaugurated the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) enforcement boats, ferries, clinic and administrative building to boost maritime domain.

Sambo during the inauguration in Lagos said that the projects were part of the Federal Government’s commitment to good governance and institutionalised policies for economic renaissance.

He added that the projects reinforces the Federal Government’s commitment to achieve and sustain safe, secure shipping and cleaner oceans.

“The projects will also enhance maritime capacity in line with the best global practices towards Nigeria’s economic development,” he said.

Sambo said the inaugurated five state-of-the-art enforcement platforms would ensure strict compliance and adherence with the extant laws governing the operations of Nigeria’s maritime domain.

“These platforms will give NIMASA the much-needed tools required to function as a maritime administration in line with the protocols and conventions of the International Maritime Organisation and International Labour Organisation.

“Additionally, we shall be commissioning four staff ferries meant to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the staff of the agency.

“This is to create a more conducive means of transportation to and from official assignments, thereby bypassing the hassles that are associated with the operational terrain of the ports,” he said.

Other projects inaugurated by the minister include five new patrol/security boats, five refurbished search and rescue/pollution control boats, four staff ferries, a search and rescue clinic and an administrative building.

Sambo said that as the supervisory ministry, it would continue to give support to NIMASA to ensure the growth of maritime in Nigeria.

Earlier, Dr Bashir Jamoh, the Director-General of NIMASA, in his address said the new assets and building showed the Federal Government relentless and persistent commitment in the fight against maritime crime aimed at strengthening the Blue Economy.

Jamoh said that the  Blue Economy was pivotal to the growth and development of the maritime and the nation in General.

He urged the officers that would be assigned to utilise the boats to bear in mind that they are national assets and to make the best use of them by ensuring proper maintenance.

According to Jamoh, notwithstanding the foregoing giant strides and the current state of security, the golden rule is that one must be persistent to remain successful.

“It is within the bearing of this frame of mind that we hinge the significance of today’s launching of the following: five new patrol/security boats fully bullet proof.

“Others are five refurbished search and rescue/pollution control boats, commissioning of two search and rescue clinic, administrative building, two 35 seater boat for staff,” he said.

He said that the inclusion of the security/patrol boats along with the search and rescue/pollution control boats to the Deep Blue Project assets would intensify the internal security of the waterways.

He said that the five boats would bear the following names: the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari; Mr Rotimi Amaechi, past Minister of Transportation; Past Minister of State, Mrs Gbemisola Saraki; Sambo and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr Magdalene Ajani.

“The brand new four 35 seater ferries for staff were named after: Yemisi Folashade, Head of Civil Service; Late Mr Kunle Folarin; Late Alhaji Lawal Keta and Secretary to the Government of Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha,” he said.

Also speaking, Ms Lynda Ikpeazu, the Chairman, House Committee on Transport, urged the NIMASA management to ensure the judicious use of the assets.

“Though we have all these lofty ideas, we don’t have maintenance culture, we need to put a system for such so that the boats are maintained,” Ikpeazu said.

Also contributing, Mr Greg Ogbeifun, a shipowner, urged Jamoh to put in place a sustainable maintenance plan for the boats.

Also, Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, noted that there was nothing as good as having security in the Nigerian waterways.

“This is a follow up of the Deep Blue project and this was made possible by the support of the administration headed by the president.

“We have been encouraged to have a sustainable plan and we have taken that into consideration,” she said.

(NAN)

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