‘ECOWAS must eradicate piracy to enhance economic growth’
NIMASA to float new offices in Warri, Port Harcourt, Onne
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has charged member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to eradicate the scourge of piracy in the sub-region in order to grow the economy.
Meanwhile, the Governing Board of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has approved the building of new zonal offices and a multi level car park at its head office using a Design, Build and Finance (DBF) model under a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in its 2017 budget year.
The Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at the delocalised meeting of the Joint Committee on Political Affairs, Peace and Security of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, said that the fight against piracy must be a collective responsibility of member states to be successful.
According to him, “The theme of this meeting, Maritime Security and the Fight Against Piracy: The Role of the ECOWAS Parliament in the Implementation of the Integrated Maritime Security Policy of ECOWAS could not have been more timely coming exactly one month after the signing of the Lome Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa by Heads of government in Africa under the auspices of the African Union”.
He observed that the adoption of the ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy (EIMS) and the 2012 Yaoundé declaration of the Heads of States and Governments of Central and West African States on Maritime Safety and Security is a clear demonstration of the critical role of the ECOWAS parliament in ensuring safety and security of the sub region’s shipping and maritime transportation including the territorial waters and the seas.
The objectives of these two sub-regional instruments are in sync with the goals of the African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) 2050 which culminated into the signing of a Charter on Maritime security, safety and development in Africa on the 15th October, 2016.
While acknowledging that the ocean provides a unique opportunity to optimize the benefits of the blue economy and to provide special opportunities to tap into the benefits of nature, he urged the participants to engage in sensitizing member countries on a harmonized legal framework that will ensure safe, secure shipping and cleaner oceans in the ECOWAS sub-region.
“Our economies are unfortunately tied to the prospects of the ocean; the ocean is the medium for which most of our trade and transactions are conducted, the ocean also provides a unique opportunity for us to optimize the benefits of the blue economy and a special opportunity for us to tap into the benefits of nature,” Peterside observed.
However, the Board of NIMASA has given nod to the construction of new office complexes for the Central Zone in Warri, the Eastern Zone in Port Harcourt, Onne Port Office as well as a multi-level car park at the agency’s head office in Lagos.
The construction of new office complexes for the zones, according to a statement from its spokesperson, Hajia Lami Tumaka, is in line with the restructuring programme of the agency, which plans to devolve more powers to the operational offices to enhance efficiency, productivity and revenue generation.
Currently, the zonal offices are challenged by inadequate office accommodation while there is an urgent need to construct a multi level car park at the agency’s head office in Apapa to ease the parking challenges of staff.
Under the DBF model, Tumaka said the Agency will only provide the land for the development, monitor the development to ensure conformity with quality and pay off the cost of construction in three to four years with a markup of six to 12 per cent as cost of fund while the developer will provide funding for the entire project, bear the stress of construction and deliver the project within a maximum period of 12 months.