The numerous transformative initiatives introduced in the maritime sector by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have established a standard that other sectors have to follow in the drive for national economic prosperity over the next decade. Group Executive Vice Chairman of SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, stated this on Tuesday in Lagos ahead of the Maritime Industry Awards and Corporate Dinner slated for January 18 at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
He said the awards annually organised by NIMASA, like the Academy Awards in the United States, more popularly called the Oscars, had become an essential element of the maritime sector, which stakeholders and players now looked up to.
Afolabi said the transformative efforts of the Agency in the last one year called for celebration and emulation by all and sundry in the maritime sector and the business community, generally.
According to the SIFAX Vice Chairman, “The NIMASA awards, no doubt, has come to stay and can be described as the OSCAR of the Nigerian maritime sector. One beautiful thing about the award is that it is not for sale, like some other awards you see in town. The faculty members are truly men of integrity who hold the prosperity of the maritime sector dear.
“I want to say NIMASA is midwifing a great project in the sector and the fruit is visible for all to see. As a stakeholder, the great transformation that has taken place in the organisation is truly noble and worthy of emulation by all.
“NIMASA has now set the pace for all other government agencies to follow. I wish you a prosperous 2020 and more fruitful achievements.”
The current management NIMASA led by the Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has introduced several changes in the operation of the regulatory and promotional Agency, which have positively impacted the maritime industry and improved investment. They include the Final Billing System for Freight Charges, which has drastically reduced turnaround time for reconciliation of bills in relation to the three per cent freight charge on vessels coming into the country. Before the new system, it took between five and 10 years to conclude the process, but under the Final Billing regime, all vessel billing transactions are concluded within two weeks of the ship’s departure.
Other achievements of the Agency include Improved Maritime Safety, Security, and Domain Awareness; the Tripartite Agreement by Maritime Stakeholders, which has ensured employer-employee harmony in the industry; renewed capacity building drive through implementation of a five-year Cabotage cessation plan; and enhancement of the Nigerian Ship Registry.
The Awards ceremony is an occasion to fete industry players and stakeholders, as well as staff of NIMASA, who made outstanding contributions to the overall success story.