By Isaac Anumihe
Ship Owners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) has pledged to support the newly elected Chairman of Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA) and Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, saying that he is capable of reviving the African maritime sector for the economic benefit of the continent.
In its congratulatory message to Peterside, President of the association, Greg Ogbeifun, said that Peterside’s election at the third conference of the association in Abuja, last week, did not come to the group as a surprise. He noted that since the NIMASA DG assumed office, he has shown dexterity in ensuring a virile Nigerian maritime sector that can compete favourably in the comity of maritime nations.
“Your election did not come to us as a surprise, but a proof of your worth in the business of rejuvenating the maritime sector for optimum growth and prosperity of the Nigerian economy, anchored on efficient and profitable management of men and other resources,” he said in the letter.
While also urging Peterside to bring his wealth of experience to bear in leading AAMA, SOAN pledged its support to the developmental initiative of NIMASA towards repositioning the maritime sector for greater efficiency and performance.
This is also coming on the heels of the congratulatory message sent to the NIMASA DG by President Muhammadu Buhari where the president acknowledged NIMASA’s encouraging performance under Peterside in the fight against piracy through inter-agency cooperation. Buhari also described the election of the Peterside to be a confirmation that the country has the human capital required to make Nigeria a leading maritime nation.
According to the president, Peterside’s election also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations, in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), towards safer global maritime activities.
AAMA was formed following the signing of the African Transport and Maritime Charter in 2012 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to bring together all players in the African maritime sector. The association is an umbrella body of five African maritime stakeholders’ groups namely: Association of Maritime Administrations of Africa, Africa’s Ship Registry Forum, African Ship Owners Association as well as Africa Shippers’ Council and Seafarers’ Forum with the aim of promoting the development of Africa’s maritime regulatory and maritime environment
Recall that Peterside was unanimously elected to lead the continental body as the chairman during the just-concluded 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Heads in Abuja. He takes over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA) who held sway since 2013.