Stakeholders call for repositioning of marine sector for sustainable growth

By Abimbola Mohammed & Felicia Nwosu

It was glitz and glamour as The Maritime and Offshore Award (The OMIS) held its Technical Summit and Award to acknowledge and commend hard work, commitment, excellence and the potential within the sector.

The two-in-one event, which was held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, brought several stakeholders in the maritime industry together, and kicked off with a summit, themed “Safety and Security in Maritime”.

The Award Gala featured several notable industry thought leaders as speakers, including regulators in the maritime sector, who highlighted some of the prevailing challenges mitigating the growth of the sector, while also proffering solutions to chart new roadmaps.

Speaking at the event, Senator Wasiu Eshilokun Sanni, Chairman, Senate committee on Marine Transport, who was also the special guest of honour, assured the blue economy sector full support from the federal government towards security and growth of the sector.

According to the Senator, enacting statute for the blue economy is a very important bill that the legislators are working seriously to establish to enable the sector to prevail over some of the lingering challenges hampering its growth.

His words: “Like I usually say, my job is to listen to experts in discussing various issues being faced by the marine and blue economy sector. My job is finding a solution, legislating and enacting a statute for the blue economy and the marine ministry to take off. Doing that we need to get acquainted with issues that are confronting various legislations that need to be enacted. For us at the senate, we want to assure you of our maximum coorporation; we are ready to work for the industry. We need a symbiotic relationship with all the experts.”

He continued: “In terms of statutes, there are many – we have NIMASA, the Port and Harbor bill, the Inland water ways and a whole gamut of legislative bills. They are at various stages of reading – about two have gone through third reading and they are being sent to the president for assent. About two were sent in May and one was sent in March, but the former president was unable to sign it, so we will find a way of representing and do the needful. Normally in democracy, legislation and law call before the operational regulation will follow.”

Acknowledging the existence of several challenges, the Senator expressed his commitment to ensuring that issues affecting the industry and the recommendations made by the panelists at the summit receive the needed attention with urgency.

“We know that our ports are dilapidated, they need to be re-jigged and remodelled for efficient delivery. We also know that there are issues with inspection, but we need you to tell us, we are not assuming that we know everything we don’t know. You are the ones wearing the shoes so you know where they pinch. Be free to make suggestions and we assure you maximum cooperation. For me, I will continue to listen to all of you the experts,” he added.

Dr. Magdalene Ajani, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, commended the organisers of The OMIS award for their consistency in recognising people who are actively contributing to the sector.

“The ministry of transportation has before the creation of a new maritime and blue economy ministry handled issues of the maritime sub-sector through our various bodies, and we were already working on expanding the blue economy. There is actually a committee that existed in the last admiration where we had some many ministries more like an inter-ministerial committee of all those involved  in the marine and blue economy, headed by the former president of the country.

“Now, with the creation of a whole ministry for marine and blue economy, it gives a boost for more collaborative work and for Nigeria to tap into the sector because this is one area of our economy that is grossly under-tapped, and the ministry will have opportunity, support and budgetary provision to explore the deep blue,” she stated.

Also speaking at the event, Jean Chiazor Anishere SA, The OMIS Chairman, noted that maritime and offshore industries play vital roles in global trade, adding that, “it is through the dedication and ingenuity of individuals and organizations represented here that we continue to push boundaries and shape the future.”

She added: “Today, we gather not only to acknowledge excellence but to inspire a future where innovation, sustainability, and safety are at the frontburners of our future. The maritime and offshore industries play a vital role in global trade, and it is through the dedication and ingenuity of individuals and organizations represented here that we continue to push boundaries and shape the future.

“As we gather here in Lagos, Nigeria, a hub of maritime activity, let us also reflect on the significance of our contributions to the local and global economies. We have a responsibility to ensure that our industry remains a beacon of progress, lifting communities and fostering opportunities for generations to come.”

During the summit, the panelists shed light on the prevailing challenges within the maritime sector, and made suggestions on the way forward while illuminating the untapped potential it holds for the Nigerian economy.

Some of the Award categories bestowed on personalities and several bodies were; The OMIS Company CEO of the Year Award (Corporate/Private), The OMIS Engr. LifeTime Achievement Award, The OMIS QHSE Manager of the Year Award, The OMIS Torch Bearers Award, The OMIS Icon of the Year Awards, The OMIS Commendation Awards, The OMIS Guardian Angel Award, The OMIS Posthumous Awards, The OMIS Impact Awards and The OMIS Industry Merit Award.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    No comments found.