By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR has stated that inter-agency collaboration is critical to sustaining the efforts to curb criminal activities in the Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The DG made this assertion when he played host to the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP); Major General (rtd) Barry Ndiomu at the headquarters of the Agency in Lagos. He also applauded the visit of the Amnesty boss, and added that it was timely and a wake-up call to synergy, in order to sustain the tempo of policing the Nigerian waters, while also actively engaging and empowering the youths on opportunities in the Nigerian maritime sector.
Accordingly, he said; “Nigeria has received several commendations from the international community for the visible successes achieved in addressing insecurity in our maritime domain. As such, they are watching to see if we can sustain the tempo, hence the Agency’s willingness to partner with the Presidential Amnesty Programme and other relevant bodies”.
Meanwhile, Jamoh informed the Amnesty Interim Administrator on the viability of creating jobs through the Blue Economy, noting that the maritime sector has the wherewithal to engage the youths, as this will dissuade them from the nefarious activities of perpetuating crimes on the nation’s waterways.
“The Nigerian maritime industry is large enough to sustainably and actively engage the teeming youths, as there are enormous opportunities in the industry that the youths can take advantage of to generate foreign earnings”, the DG said.
He further assured of the Agency’s readiness to collaborate with the Presidential Amnesty Programme in reintegrating beneficiaries of the Amnesty programme into the society.
Earlier in his remarks, Major General Barry Ndiomu (rtd) called on NIMASA to fashion out workable and sustained partnerships towards creating opportunities for teeming youths in the Niger Delta region.
General Ndiomu also disclosed that the PAP has trained a large number of youths across institutions in the world in various specializations, some of which include Deep Sea Diving, Underwater Welding, and Marine Engineering, hence the reason for seeking partnership with the Agency to engage them actively on maritime related opportunities.
He also used the opportunity to inform the DG of his agenda for the Amnesty Programme. “My vision is to chart a new path for the Amnesty Programme by upholding the principal objectives of government, by bringing innovative ideas, setting a new Management structure of wealth creation for the teeming youths, instead of depending on monthly stipends, to pave way for a more prosperous future. We are looking at technical support from NIMASA, and job placement opportunities in NIMASA for our qualified delegates, he said.
The Amnesty boss also used the opportunity to commend the DG and his team for redefining the safety and security of Nigeria’s Maritime Industry. “I am aware of your outstanding achievements, particularly in the obvious reduction of piracy on the Gulf of Guinea,” Ndiomu said.
It may be recalled that the Blue Economy mantra has been in the forefront of the campaign under the Jamoh-led administration in NIMASA, which is aimed at educating the public on the ideals of the Blue Economy, while guiding the Federal Government to make policies around the mantra.
The essence of the Blue Economy is to preserve the resources in the oceans towards ensuring sustainability, wealth creation and by extension job creation, which will help curb insecurity in the country, while also reducing overreliance on crude oil, which is fast depreciating in the global space.
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