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Anti-piracy bill will combat maritime crime as sector creates 7,000 jobs

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[Dakuku Peterside, NIMASA Boss

• MWUN threatens to shut seaports over unpaid wages by IOCs
• Completion of $99m Ibadan dry port sacrosanct, says NSC boss

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, has said the agency was taking strategic steps to deal with maritime piracy.

He disclosed that the anti-piracy bill, sponsored by NIMASA, has been passed by the National Assembly and as soon as it is signed into law, it would help tame piracy in and open up more opportunities in the sector.

Dakuku stated this yesterday in Lagos while speaking with journalists on the activities of the agency to ensure a safe and secure environment and promote participation in maritime business.

He said: “The maritime crime has been challenging, not only to us as a nation but also the entire Gulf of Guinea. To achieve a safe and secure maritime environment that will guarantee the realisation of the president’s agenda, the world would be coming to Nigeria in October to brainstorm on ways of collectively tackle the menace of maritime insecurity.

“This is with a view to advancing the growth and development of the sector to the benefit of the country and Africa at large, with NIMASA championing the initiative.”

He also disclosed that over 7,000 jobs have been created in the maritime sector in the last six months through the New Cabotage Compliance Strategy.

Peterside, who noted that jobs creation was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision, said the industry was ready to do more, as there are vast opportunities in maritime business.

Besides, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has vowed to shut down the nation’s seaports over unpaid wages by International Oil Companies (IOCs).

It issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government with a view to compelling the IOCs to pay all outstanding bills to dockworkers for over a year.

President and Secretary General of MWUN, Adewale Adeyanju and Felix Akingboye, asked the Federal Ministry of Transportation to prevail on managements of the IOCs to pay all outstanding bills to its members within the next 14 days.

They cautioned that failure to meet their demands would lead to withdrawal of their services, as they would shut down operations in all the nation’s seaports.

Adeyanju said they could no longer continue to watch their members die prematurely due to the IOCs’ continued defiance.

Meanwhile, Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, has disclosed that the deadline for the completion of Ibadan dry port project remains sacrosanct, adding that the Oyo State government was aligning with speedy completion of the project.

Bello disclosed this yesterday in Ibadan, after a meeting with the Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, with a view to completing the Ibadan dry port project.

NSC boss noted that the purpose of their meeting with the Oyo State government was to officially brief the state government on the milestone achievement concerning the completion of the $99 million US dollars Ibadan dry port project.

Also speaking after the meeting, Director General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Chidi Izuwah, said the dry port will create more jobs when private partnership come in after its completion.


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