Experts harp on information access to boost maritime sector
Despite the enormous economic and revenue benefits, including job opportunities in the Nigerian Maritime sector, security, administration and other activities in the sector have remained serious issues to contend with.
It is now obvious that the Nigerian maritime sector has more business opportunities other than crude oil and gas. Lack of data and synergy among stakeholders has however plagued the needed development in the sector .
Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, noted that dearth of relevant data has underplayed the industry.
Peterside, who was represented by the Chief Legal Officer, Nneka Obianyor, during the presentation of the Nigerian Maritime handbook draft copy to stakeholders, added that the handbook will be a colloquium of information for the industry.
Publisher of the book, Mrs. Funmi Folorunsho, said access to information is a major challenge that the handbook wants to address.
According to her, data must be readily available for national and international maritime players and investors to make informed decisions in the sector.
“The handbook is a product of 25 years research put together. It will contain the truth about the maritime industry. We want the support of every players in the industry so we can an encyclopedia,” she said.
Retired Captain Ogbe Abel, said the handbook is to create and sustain an up-to-date encyclopedia on maritime activities locally and internationally.
He asked for data and financial contributions from all stakeholders for final production and continuous updating of the handbook.
“We will need an office space to establish a secretariat and work production center. The maritime handbook has become the property of stakeholders. We are calling on all maritime stakeholders to come, nurture, sustain and harvest from this maritime tree towards growth and development,” he added.
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, said the ports are a major gateways with over 85 per cent of all the goods and services with an aggregate value exceeding $15billion mark annually.
“The Maritime industry is an intensely competitive one wherein stakeholders have the liberty of choice and the discretion to review those choices as often as they wish, thus ports desiring any level of market share must be open in their practices and engender confidence, retain old patronage and gain more trust with the intent of increasing market share,” she added.
Lauding efforts of the Publisher, Usman said there’s need for the provision of a level playing field for operators in the sector, and facilitation of ease of doing business.