The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that regional cooperation is key to the safety and security of inbound and outbound goods and services to Africa through the seas.
Peterside on Monday, stated this on the sidelines of the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Texas, United States of America.
The NIMASA DG, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director Operations, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, reportedly spoke at a technical workshop on ‘Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Collaboration’ during the OTC conference.
“The oil and gas industry needs the maritime sector, particularly shipping, which is international in nature, for it to thrive. The fact that shipping is international in nature makes collaboration, particularly at the regional level, inevitable. This will serve as a catalyst for growth in the industry and we at NIMASA have recognised this fact, thus our numerous collaborative efforts, which have begun to yield fruits,” he said.
Peterside assured the select international stakeholders of a renewed effort to enhance safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea based on sustainable regional cooperation.
Efforts at regional collaboration, according to him, have led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ghanaian Maritime Administration and other agencies, adding that this would reverse the current trend of the region having only an insignificant part of international cargo freight.
He noted that the Federal Government supported regional integration as demonstrated by the approved Integrated National Security Strategy for the Nigerian maritime sector, designed to be implemented in collaboration with other countries in the Gulf of Guinea.
Peterside informed the stakeholders that the agency had established a command and control centre for enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional cooperation, among others, aimed at an enhanced water security in the entire region.