A bill to amend the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Act has passed its first reading in the Senate.
Sen. Wasiu Sanni, Chairman Senate Committee on Marine Transport, disclosed this on Friday during a working visit by the committee to NIMASA operational offices in Lagos.
He noted that the senate of the tenth assembly was committed to formulating policies that would ensure Nigerians enjoy the benefits of the blue economy.
The committee chairman averred that a constructive evaluation of the existing maritime legal framework was necessary to ascertain gaps for possible review.
He pledged that the Senate, under the leadership of Sen. Godswill Akpabio, was committed to supporting the maritime sector in line with the vision of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Let me inform you that the bill seeking amendment of the NIMASA Act has passed first reading on the floor of the senate.
“I have to say, on behalf of my colleagues, that we are with you on this journey. We will not hesitate to support your vision in as much as such is geared towards enhancing the potential of the maritime sector for national growth and development.
“With the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry by Mr President, a message has been passed to all stakeholders that the maritime industry has a huge role to play in our nation building.
“We must align with the vision of the president, and we must support the government to achieve a better country for all Nigerians,” Sani said.
A member of the committee, Sen. Abdul Ningi, commended NIMASA management stating that much progress had been made over the years.
“I have visited this sgency over the years, and must note that much progress has been made. You have done very well,” he said.
Commenting, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, noted that the agency was commited to both human capacity and infrastructural development to grow the Nigerian blue economy .
Jamoh noted that a well-developed marine and blue economy would be strong enough to service Nigeria’s annual budget because it encompasses all economic activities associated with the oceans and seas.
According to Jamoh, NIMASA is working tirelessly to secure the nation’s waters and by extension, the Gulf of Guinea.
“The time has come for us as a nation to build on the recent gains in the area of safety and security of our waterways.
“Be rest assured that NIMASA is utilising appropriated funds judiciously, evident in our investment in infrastructure.
“We will continue in the direction President Bola Tinubu has pointed, with the creation of the Marine and Blue Economy Ministry,” he said.