Our Reporter: UCHE USIM
When President Goodluck Jonathan approved the appointment of Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi as the Director General/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for another four-year term few weeks back, it did not come as a surprise to many.
Stakeholders described the re-appointment as historic as no chief executive of NIMASA has served for eight years.
Some maritime watchers, who spoke with Daily Sun said they had predicted the re-appointment, which was conveyed in a letter dated October 13, 2014 and signed by Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, long before it came.
They opined that Akpobolokemi’s scorecard in the war against piracy was outstanding.
In his first term, Akpobolokemi repositioned the maritime sector and made it an important pillar in the nation’s economy.
His efforts resulted in a new wave of improved maritime safety and security, creating an enabling environment for maritime business as a great contributor to the nation’s economy to thrive, a remarkable development that has been widely acknowledged by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Under his leadership, NIMASA achieved full maritime domain awareness through enhanced surveillance of the maritime environment with the introduction of a satellite surveillance system, which covers the entire Gulf of Guinea and beyond.
The agency has also procured various platforms and electronic surveillance equipment through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement for a round-the-clock monitoring of the Nigerian maritime domain.
As the agency for the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code, NIMASA has successfully ensured adequate compliance towards safe and secure port facilities in the country.
Akpobolokemi’s zeal to create a safe and secure shipping environment led to the working agreements with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force towards ridding the maritime domain of all forms of piracy and related crimes.
He has driven the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), designed by the agency to build capacity and fill existing gaps for qualified manpower in the sector. Under NSDP, NIMASA has sponsored over 2,500 Nigerian youths to training in recognised maritime universities in the United Kingdom, Philippines, India, Egypt, Romania and Malaysia.
The capacity building initiatives of Akpobolokemi’s leadership have also resulted in the setting up of Institutes of Maritime Studies in the University of Lagos, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State and Niger Delta University, Amasoma, Bayelsa State, as a way of boosting manpower training in the long run. This is in addition to the establishment of a Nigerian Maritime University and NIMASA Shipyard and Dockyard, in Okerenkoko, NIMASA Science and Technical College, Okoloba, Delta State.
NIMASA under Akpobolokemi also launched several creative programmes, including the online verification of seafarers’ certificates, online sailing certificate and ship manifest as well as automating the process of ship registration in Nigeria.
….As remittance to federation account hits N9.7bn
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi has stated that the Agency is up-to-date in making remittances to the Federation Account and has so far remitted over N9.7 billion being operating its surplus in 2013 alone.
He therefore averred that the figures in recent media reports are not in consonance with what has been recorded with the Federal Ministry of Finance.
According to him, “NIMASA is mindful of the critical role of financial resources in actualising the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan and has therefore continued to contribute its statutory quota towards making the government’s programmes a reality”.
Akpobolokemi said the agency has continued to make remittances to the Federation Account and this latest remittance for the year 2013 is way above its projection.
He noted that the Agency is committed to actualising its mandate working with more advanced technology, like the recently launched Satellite Surveillance System that is capable of monitoring in real time, vessel activities in the country’s maritime domain.
Source : SunOnline