Adamu Yusuf (Coordinator, Sea School)
Winning a second term on the IMO is a challenge to the Nigerian maritime administration and also a chance for us to redeem our image concerning safety on the waterways and so on.
There is need to educate the people and also give the right qualified people a chance to operate, government should stop interfering in the affairs of NIMASA in order for the agency to work optimally and achieve desired result.
Presently, many things are still not right in our industry; you will find out that there is no radio communication aboard our vessels, all radio communications come in from Ghana which is not right, its not every Tom, Dick and Harry that should be allowed to come into our territory.
Also, there are lots of job opportunities which Nigeria is giving away to foreigners in the sense that majority of the people manning vessels in the country today are foreigners.
Amaechi Iwelumor (Bank Manager)
For them to have won a second term they must have performed, I see performance on the part of NIMASA as the regulator of the maritime industry, the management of NIMASA have being trying, for once I can see Nigerian ship owners purchasing more vessels more than before, however some of my friends who also have vessels told me that there are still foreign vessels trading on Nigerian waters which means that the Cabotage Act is not being well implemented. My advice is that if the intention of the Cabotage Act is to give Nigerians and Nigerian ship owners the exclusive rights to own vessels and operate on our territorial waters, they should ensure that the Cabotage Act is implemented to the letter. And if for any reason they feel that there is an impediment to implementing the Cabotage Act, they should scrap it or remove the impediments, but for me I think they are trying.
I also know that in advanced countries, they don’t use single hull tankers any more, but it is not clear to me what the present administration’s policies on single hull tankers are. I still see people buying single hulls, what is the implication of the ownership of these vessels, my advice is that let the policies be very explicit, NIMASA should work closely with ISAN and policies should be explained to them so that they too can evolve.
There is still some level of insecurity on our territorial waters and this is attributed to the issues of the Niger Delta, what should be done is to make the navy to be stronger, more equipped and parade more on the water ways.
Akanji Abdulakeem (Mikkol Maritime Services)
Personally, I have not seen any benefits or gains of our being a member of the IMO, the reason is that the Cabotage is still not being implemented, what are the contributions that we have made or gained from IMO in our maritime business? I cannot quantify what we have gained.
In terms of security, we don’t have any on our waters here, we have not really seen any serious pirate attack because it is God that is just securing us, secondly we do not even have a national carrier; all the vessels trading here are foreign vessels, if we have any export now we still use foreign vessels, if we have our own local carrier here it will bring more money to the economy of Nigeria.
Let NIMASA call their top notches together with other stakeholders and look forward on how we can gain more from IMO.
Ezekiel Ejabukwa (Clearing agent)
This second term on the IMO seat is a time for us to do our homework In our maritime industry, left to me I will say we are not benefiting anything from the organization or any got any advantage from our membership on the council.
Nigeria is supposed to be in category B because of our position in Africa, but because of our leaders selfish reasons we are in category C. If our water ways are secure enough and the National Unity Line have been allowed to flourish, we would have got somewhere better.
Olasunkanmi Abolaji (POTMAN)
The first thing NIMASA have to do is for them to carry all stakeholders along because a tree cannot make a forest.
Let there be harmony in the agency, such that the issue of politics and politicking will not hold water, the right person should be placed on the job in order to achieve the right result at the right time.
NIMASA should call together the various professional bodies that we have in the industry so that they can get inputs on how to achieve more for this industry.
So also, they should bring in the merchant navy and use their ideas and trainings because already the merchant navy is feeling that they are not being carried along properly.
Olu Olasore (Gemtrade Int’l Ltd)
My advice is for NIMASA to look back at their past errors and mistakes on the first term and try to address them, they should look forward on how to make more impact in the industry so that at the end of the second term, the country’s achievement will be recorded in their name, the mantle of leadership is a very heavy one and they need to look inward to move forward.
Secondly they should take advice from other stakeholders both in and outside the country. In the aspect of security, which is also within their jurisdiction they should try and improve.