The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Dr. Dakuku Peterside, says for the country to successfully diversify its economy, there is a need to harness the potential of the maritime sector, which is capable of replacing oil as the country’s economic mainstay going forward.
The NIMASA boss, who said this at the 5th Nigeria Transport Awards and Lecture in Lagos, noted that the benefits of the oil/gas sector and other vibrant sectors could not be reaped without shipping, as the latter provided the wheel upon which trade thrived.
Peterside, who was represented at the event by the agency’s Director of Administration and Human Resources, Mr. Akin Akinyosoye, said that the maritime sector was of critical significance to the Nigerian economy, particularly given that the nation was endowed with a vast coastline as well as navigable inland waterways, which placed it at a strategic point on the Atlantic Coast of West Africa.
“Shipping is essential to the proper operation of any country’s economy and a vital part of a nation’s transport infrastructure. It is no gainsaying that a nation such as ours blessed with about 853 kilometres of coastline and 200 nautical miles exclusive economic zone apart from the abundance of mineral resources that are domiciled in every nook and cranny of our country, needs to be harnessed through shipping to create a positive economic impact,” the NIMASA boss stated.
He said that the agency was working hard to ensure that the country’s maritime domain remained safe and secure for shipping activities, adding that NIMASA was leading the charge in coordinating other African nations to tap into maritime opportunities across the continent.