Holistic as the National Transport Policy might be, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it lacks “common vision, common dream and common guiding document” relevant to the peculiarities of the maritime sub-sector transportation.
Therefore, it is partnering with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to articulate and formulate a National Maritime Transport Policy (NMTP) to address the gaps.
Speaking in Lagos at the beginning of a three-day workshop in that respect, the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the agency invited IMO officials to discuss the NTP because it does not capture the whole realities of the nation’s maritime sector.
“We have a National Transport Policy which captures an idea and the roles of land transportation, pipeline as mode of transportation, rail transportation, water and air transportation,” he said. “But we don’t have a stand-alone document on maritime transportation.
“With this, the current National Transport Policy cannot be all-encompassing on the realities in Nigeria’s maritime transport sub-sector. So, we have identified that there is a gap and sought help from the IMO.
“The IMO sent us professionals from the World Maritime University to guide us on the process of articulation and formulation of a National Maritime Transport Policy. What we are here for today (Monday) is the beginning of a workshop that will show how nations can articulate and formulate their own National Maritime Transport Policy.”
Peterside described the NTP as a holistic document on air, land, pipe, rail and water modes of transport, “but the National Maritime Transport Policy will focus only on maritime transportation. So, when you are addressing issues concerning safety, you won’t need to be looking at safety on a broad transport position basis.
According to him, “the National Maritime Transport Policy will show you the minimum acceptable standards of safety in the maritime sector.”
He explained that on issues of interconnectivity of the maritime sector, there are many things that cannot be captured in the omnibus NTP document, but the NMTP would capture everything needed on interconnectivity.
“So, whatever gaps have been noticed in the National Transport Policy will be addressed in the National Maritime Transport Policy, which will be a sub-set of the bigger National Transport Policy,” he said.