Government to maximise benefits of Nigeria’s coastline
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has highlighted the need to maximise the benefits of Nigeria’s vast coastline to facilitate trade in the West African sub region.
The Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who this during a courtesy call by the Inter-Ministerial Committee of the Nigeria/Niger Joint Commission for Co-operation and Transportation, said Nigeria has a coastline of 853km and about 200 nautical miles of Exclusive Economic Zone, which should be judiciously utilized.
He therefore emphasised the need for Nigeria to cooperate with other countries including its landlocked neighbours like Niger Republic with the objective of facilitating trade.
According to him, “To maximize the benefits of our coastline is to use it to facilitate trade between and among our landlocked neighbours and this can only be done by co-operating with our neigbhours. This cooperation is in our own interest politically, socially and economically”.
Peterside also said that, “although NIMASA is set up as a regulatory agency, we see ourselves as facilitators of trade using the maritime sector as the common denominator”.
The Chairman of the committee, Peter Utsu, noted the benefits of cooperation with Niger Republic stating that Nigeria has been able to combat crime especially terrorism by co-operating with this landlocked country.
He said that collaboration by the two West African countries especially in the areas of transportation would be of benefit to both countries as it would facilitate trade, create job opportunities as well as foster good bilateral relationships.
Meanwhile, the maritime industry watchdog has expressed its commitment to the implementation of the 1992 International Civil Liability Convention and the 1992 International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Fund.
Peterside who was represented by Director Abuja Zonal office, Ali Indabawa, at an industry forum in Abuja, assured stakeholders that the Agency is committed to the adequate implementation of the IOPC Fund and related conventions for the benefit of dwellers of coastal communities and the preservation of the marine environment.