-by our correspondent.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called for enhanced certification regime for boat captains and proper regulation of the operations of non-convention vessels that operate in the inland waterways of the country.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who made the call while receiving the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, who was on a working visit to his office, said an improved utilisation of Lagos waterways will go a long way in easing the traffic congestion on roads in the state.
The NIMASA DG notified the governor of the of the Agency’s desire to collaborate with the state in the areas of capacity development to improve maritime regulation for the promotion of the blue economy which has the capacity of creating jobs and wealth for the nation.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu
The Governor noted that the training and certification of operators of non Convention Vessels on inland waterways is key to improved safety of operations. He disclosed that the state government is close to delivering 15 new jetties and terminals to enhance waterways transportation in Lagos, and called on NIMASA to consider partnering the private sector for a more effective regulation and certification of small boat operators.
“We know NIMASA has done well in regulating the operations of large vessels calling at our waters, which is very necessary for the nation’s economic well-being. Considering the activities of small craft in our inland waterways, we in Lagos desire improved regulation of operations in terms of certification, which comes directly under NIMASA.” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor, who acknowledged Dr Jamoh’s knowledge of the maritime industry, also listed water hyacinth management, wreck removal, and deep seaport operations as areas that Lagos State and NIMASA can collaborate to ensure Nigeria benefits more from the maritime business.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh
On his part, the NIMASA DG identified areas of collaboration between the Agency and Lagos State Government to include human capacity development, fishing industry development, and marine waste management, all geared towards harnessing the nation’s potentials in the blue economy.
“NIMASA needs alliances to develop policies that would ensure Nigeria effectively harnesses her potentials in the blue economy. Lagos State has comparative advantage over other states in Nigeria and we are willing and ready to partner with Lagos State Government.” Dr. Jamoh said.