Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Duoye Diri, says the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is key in efforts to wean Nigeria from its dependence on crude oil.
Diri who stated this in Lagos, when he paid a courtesy visit to the headquarters of NIMASA, stressed that Nigeria’s most enduring wealth of Nigeria lies in maritime.
The governor said the country’s future depends on the successful harnessing of the enormous resources in its marine environment, noting, that as a lot of countries are moving away from fossil fuel, Nigeria should leverage on the maritime sector as an alternative revenue source.
The governor, who was received by the director-general, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and the executive management team, solicited for partnership with the agency to expand her regulatory activities to Bayelsa State, stressing adding that there is need for both to work together to strengthen the country’s maritime domain.
He also appealed to NIMASA to increase its presence in Bayelsa State, especially in the area of domain awareness, to ensure security in the state’s maritime environment and build confidence in investments in the state’s huge maritime potential.
”NIMASA and Bayelsa are inextricably one. All the eight local governments in our state can be accessed by water. In fact, the headquarters of three of these local governments can only be reached by water. This shows how important our state is to maritime development.
“We are, therefore, seeking partnership with NIMASA, which is the apex maritime regulatory agency of our country, to expand her regulatory activities to our state,” Diri said.
Diri also appealed to NIMASA to help remove wrecks that had impaired navigation in many parts of the coastal state, while urging the agency to render assistance to the state government in its attempt to develop its maritime potential.
He also sought partnership in the areas of training and youth development, establishment of a maritime academy in the state, and development of the Agge Deep Seaport in Ekeremor Local Government Area.
In his response, the NIMASA DG said Bayelsa State was one of the agency’s strongest allies in the pursuit of its mandate of sustainable regulation and promotion of the maritime sector.
He said security was of utmost importance in the realization of a prosperous maritime sector, adding that he would facilitate the incorporation of Bayelsa State in the ongoing effort to integrate the maritime domain awareness facilities of relevant stakeholders, including NIMASA’s C4i, Nigerian Navy’s Falcon Eye, Nigerian Ports Authority’s C3i, and the i247 of the Nigeria Police.
“Bayelsa State holds the key to the growth of our economy because a huge part of our coastline falls within the state. Thankfully, the issue of wreck removal has been sorted out and we have concluded the marking and identification of all wrecks and derelicts across the country for removal,”Jamoh said.
Jamohalso assured the governor of the agency’s support in maritime growth, as it addresses expanding its office in Bayelsafor more presence in the state.