From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri, has asked partnership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in developing its Agge Deep Seaport in Ekeremor area, as well as coastal security.
Diri, who paid a courtesy visit to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos, appealed to the agency to increase its presence in Bayelsa State, especially in the area of domain awareness, for security in the state’s maritime environment to boost investment confidence in the state’s huge maritime potential.
Noting that the Nigeria’s most enduring wealth lies with how successfully it harnesses the enormous resources in its marine environment, the governor told the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and the executive management team that many countries were already “moving away from fossil fuel.
“Maritime gives Nigeria an alternative. All the eight local governments in our state can be accessed by water. In fact, the headquarters of three of these local governments can only be reached by water. This shows how important our state is to maritime development.
“We are, therefore, seeking partnership with NIMASA, which is the apex maritime regulatory agency of our country, to expand its regulatory activities to our state. NIMASA and Bayelsa are inextricably one.”
He further appealed to NIMASA to remove the wrecks impairing navigation in many parts of the coastal state, for support in the state’s efforts to develop its maritime potential, as well as partnership in youth training and development, and establishment of a maritime academy.
On his part, Jamoh said that Bayelsa remained one of the agency’s strongest allies in the pursuit of its mandate of sustainable regulation and promotion of the maritime sector.
Noting that security was of utmost importance in the realisation of a prosperous maritime sector, he said he would facilitate the incorporation of Bayelsa State in the ongoing efforts to integrate the maritime domain awareness facilities of relevant stakeholders.
“Bayelsa State holds the key to the growth of our economy because a huge part of our coastline falls within the state,” he noted. “Thankfully, the issue of wreck removal has been sorted out and we have concluded the marking and identification of all wrecks and derelicts across the country for removal.
“In terms of maritime growth, we will look into expanding our office in Bayelsa in order to have more presence in the state.”