One of the gunboats acquired by NIMASA to curb sea piracy along Bonny River
Lagos – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghanaian Maritime Authority, (GMA) to optimally harness the natural potential in the maritime industry.
The highlight of the renewable MoU, which has a lifespan of four years, include knowledge transfer and sharing initiative between both agencies; joint capacity building initiative; cabotage enforcement joint study initiative; joint comparative research initiative and joint efforts to combat piracy and terrorism initiative.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at the official signing of the MoU at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre in Lagos, noted that intra-African collaboration is a vital requirement for Africans to effectively harness the natural potential that the blue economy represents for the continent.
He said: “African countries must cooperate to solve challenges peculiar to the continent. All maritime nations on the African continent have comparative advantage in different areas, and only collaboration will ensure that we complement each other, thus ensuring that the maritime sector contributes effectively to the growth of the continent”.
Peterside noted that Nigeria and Ghana have a historical link in the maritime sector, adding that the African maritime sector is richly endowed to the extent that coastal and aquatic ecosystems within the continent are treasures that provide diverse and vibrant natural resources.
The NIMASA DG who is also the chairman of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations commended the Management of Ghana Maritime Authority for seeking the collaboration and noted that the move will go a long way to strengthen efforts in the areas of promotion of scientific and technical cooperation; trade and movement facilitation; Exchange of information, data, knowledge and experience.
“The importance of bilateral cooperation to solve maritime environmental challenges that transcend international boundaries in our coastal and aquatic ecosystem cannot be over-emphasized. We are ready and will give our supports to tackle all associated maritime challenges that have over time impede and slow the region’s maritime sectoral progress. We are ready to work with Ghana on all fronts within our defined and enabling capacities. NIMASA will not relent or derelict its duties and responsibilities within the contemplation of this MoU”, the DG said.
Also speaking at the event, the Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Kwame Owusu commended NIMASA and its management for championing the growth of the maritime sector in the sub-region in particular and in Africa in general.
Kwame thanked NIMASA leadership and noted that the MoU would bring about constructive and healthy competition within the West African sub-region, as Ghana would continue to cross-fertilize ideas with Nigeria in the needed areas and at the same time learn from NIMASA as regards critical functional areas of maritime operations as encapsulated in the MoU.
It would be recalled that the Management of the Ghana Maritime Authority had early in the year visited the NIMASA on a fact-finding mission with the aim of ascertaining areas of possible collaboration and cooperation.