FORMER Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Arch Ferdinand Agu, has said that until a well structured maritime policy leading to a more robust shipping policy is put in place the Nigerian maritime industry will remain stagnant.
Speaking to Vanguard Maritime Report in Lagos, Agu who also said Nigeria’s presence in international shipping is gradually diminishing added that there is a lack of integration in the sector.
He stated: “Maritime is a bit all-encompassing than shipping and strictly speaking, if you are looking at shipping in the context of receiving goods, we have virtually vanished from international shipping as a country but we can still have a lot of maritime activities even when shipping activities are diminishing.
“We do not have sufficient integration to bring about a maritime policy where stakeholders would have been a lot more useful in holding these public office holders to account.
“The interaction between the Nigerian Ports Authority and NIMASA happens largely at meetings in the Ministry. You can effectively be director-general of NIMASA for four years and managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority for four years and without meeting each other.
“Unless they meet at these meetings, there is no interface; if we had a maritime policy, we can know the points of the interface as well as where the functions of one agency end and the other sister agency begins.”
Source: By Godwin Orise for Vanguard Newspaper, June 10, 2020