What is the relevance of AAMA to the Nigerian maritime sector?

Owolabi Omotayo (Secretary, MWUN, Liverpool District)The election of the NIMASA DG as President of Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) is a welcome development because it is showcasing the acceptability of Nigeria to other African nations as coming of age through the positive reforms and repositioning programmes embarked upon in the maritime sector through NIMASA. This election will also boost the confidence reposed on Nigeria both by regional and international maritime players and it will also attract investments into the sector and create jobs too.

Francis Omotosho (Maritime Trainer)Well, I believe that Dakuku Peterside's election as the President of AAMA would make him to see and learn more from other member countries in the association. At least, he will be able to compare by himself the level of advancement in other countries and Nigeria maritime industry. The significant factor there is that he himself will judge himself when he sees what other Africa member states had done to improve on their maritime domain and equate it with his own performance in Nigeria. It is an opportunity to learn from others.

Pius Ujubonu (ANLCA)The election as far as I am concerned will only have superficial social effect. The real steps required in the maritime sector are steps taken towards strengthening our socioeconomic base. Peterside should be able to take actions capable of reinforcing our information base, to position the African maritime sub-regional bloc and be able to develop the right capacity to negotiate better positions, conditions and sizeable chunk of the business opportunities in the various protocols and conventions often forced on the African region; a position that can enhance and make the region effective participants in world maritime activities.  The position would have been a veritable vessel to conveying and delivering these ideals, I only hope that the captain of the vessel can actively and effectively read, interpret and implement the rhythms of the compass of the vessel. We only hope it’s not just an ego trip.

Engr. Charles Otuonye (Chairman, Marine Engineers and Naval Architects)First of all, if we look at the political relevance, NIMASA is purely a safety agency, so politically it means that Nigeria is still relevant to African politics, vis-a-vis SOLAS Convention,  which all maritime administrations in Africa are signatory to. It then means that at international gatherings, African countries would now be able to speak with one voice and this is very good for Nigeria playing the head. Also, if they go to the IMO and there is need to vote, if they carry out their homework in Africa as a unit, they would be able to vote in one voice and get what they want. The question we need to ask now is that, is NIMASA regulating very well here at home? if not, the style of leadership of the NIMASA DG would reflect on AAMA. My advice for him is that he should surround himself with the experts  that we have in our maritime sector so that they can advise him and work with him. Also, the economic benefit is that if Nigeria is the secretariat of AAMA, the economic benefits would reflect on our people in terms of employment. Stanley Ezenga (National Publicity Sec, NAGAFF)It is always good to be a member of committee of nations when it comes to international organizations. Like what the country gains from being a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) that is what the nation will gain also from being a member of AAMA. When it comes to individual benefits, there is nothing the members stand to gain as individuals except for the country as a whole. So the membership as a nation comes with its own benefits. Dr Boniface Anioebonan (Founder NAGAFF)I don’t have anything to say about that because when they did it they didn’t inform Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and National Association Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) who are the critical stakeholders in the industry. So I do not have any comment to make on that regards. I can only comment on their importance if NAGAFF and ANLCA are carried along in their subsequent deliberations. For now I don’t have anything to say. Dr Eugene Nweke (Former President NAGAFF)For us as a country being a member of Association of African Maritime Administration (AAMA),   I will say kudos but I hope that the aims and the objectives of this association as we are looking at it, is properly defined? If this arrangement will become a window for Nigerian to spend money then I don’t buy into that. If the whole arrangement will snowball into the country spending money under the disguise of big brother Africa, enough of that as we express in ECOWAS and other ones. We ended up being good outside and inside we are dying. I am saying that with the mind-set of the economic recession that we are now assuming the office of the president or the regional chairman; we should look at it again. I want us to be careful I have not seen the aims and objectives of this association. For me anything that has to do with protecting the image of Nigeria I am in support of that.