Capt Tajudeen Alao (Master Mariner)I believe that NIMAREX should be revived, but it should not be the same way it has always been organised in the past where the Minister of Transportation just come and talk, everybody come and make so much noise and go away. NIMAREX should be a forum where we espouse to ourselves the opportunities that are out there, it is not for outsiders, it is to tell the Nigerian community the opportunities available in our maritime sector. The Indigenous ship owners started NIMAREX, but with time, the ship owners were losing their ships, you cannot begin to woo people into seafaring when there are no ships. Also, NIMAREX is not about soliciting money from NIMASA and other agencies, it should be a forum where we examine areas we are getting it wrong and what we need to do. Currently our shipping industry has collapsed, our seafarers have no jobs, and the cadets that MAN Oron have produced, they have no jobs.
Otunba Kunle Folarin (Chairman, Port Consultative Council)Whether it is called NIMAREX or an investment forum for the development of the maritime sector, it is not only essential, it is a must and it is mandatory. Since the last one was held, there was no effort to hold the next one, basically it was due to issues within the fold of Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) who are the principal promoters of the event, however the event is very important because it is the private sector's voice for developing the shipping sector, it is also to highlight what are their needs, I think it must be revived. Basically, it was an awareness programme and not one meant to galvanise mainly investment to the sector, but it is an awareness programme that was supposed to create strategies for investment plans. What probably went wrong was that there were no emphasis on the principal goals of the event, along the line, they were concentrating on government intervention and that was why people got it wrong, government interventions are things that would come naturally when you are fully organised. For NIMAREX to succeed they must change the focus from government intervention, policies of government to the actualisation of hitting the market and providing infrastructure for the market that exists in Nigeria.
Samson Chima (Registrar, NIS)I am in total support of NIMAREX, but it is quite unfortunate that sustainability in Nigeria is a problem, I know that not holding another edition of the event might be as a result of lack of funds due to the recession that Nigeria just passed through, but I know it is a programme that has been established and it would stand the test of time. I am appealing that the programme should be revitalised. NIMAREX has had effect on our maritime sector because most of the research papers that have been produced have gone a long way, the industry needs a programme that would always bring maritime players together so that we can look at some salient issues that affect the industry and also help the government in making policies.
Remi Ogungbemi (Chairman, AMARTO)I am not a member of NIMAREX planning committee, but I have witnessed many editions of their conferences and as a stakeholder in the maritime sector, I suspect internal wrangling among the Nigerian shipowners association as the main reason another edition of the programme have not held again. NIMAREX is a laudable programme if they can keep it up and also incorporate other stakeholders to be members of the group, the forum encourages investors and people that are willing to invest in shipping operations in Nigeria, attending such programme is always an eye opener.
Eugene Nweke (Former President, NAGAFF) No room for that, not in the face of economic recession that Nigeria is passing through. Also, whether you call it NIMPORT or NIMAREX what is their importation? What difference and what impact has the programme contributed to the sector? I believe that, to a larger degree, they are being financed directly or indirectly by the government. Meanwhile, in some other climes it is supposed to be 85% private sector driven.
Captain Joseph Awodeha (President, Master Mariner)Well, incidentally I never attended the events they had so is it difficult for me to make comments on the event I didn't benefit from. It is someone who has participated in it that can say whether it should continue or not. But to me I am always in support of anything that will move the maritime sector forward. I think the people that organised the previous editions should be able to say something about the programme.
Barrister Obiageli Obi (DG Chamber of Shipping)The intention for the formation of the exhibition was good. We need to showcase what we have in the sector. I will advise that they should reconstitute and put things together for it to work. They should find the right people to handle it because the idea is good. They need to add more energy to it. There are so many opportunities springing up in the sector that need to be showcased.