Laws reform crucial to maritime growth – NIMASA DG

R-L: Executive Director, Maritime Labour & Cabotage Services of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr. Ahmed Gambo, President, Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), Mr. Luke Chidi Ilogu, SAN Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Executive Director, Finance & Administration, NIMASA Mr. Bashir Jamoh and a Maritime Lawyer, Barrister Emeka Akabogu during a courtesy visit by the association to the DG at the headquarters of NIMASA in Lagos recently.

“There is an urgent need to reform our laws to bring them in tune with current realities globally and locally, and the other one is in the updating of our current laws in line with global best practices so that our maritime sector can be attractive and competitive in the comity of maritime nations for other people to do businesses with us.”
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside made the statement when the executive members of the Nigerian Maritime Law Association (NMLA), led by its President, Mr. Luke Chidi Ilogu, SAN visited him in Lagos.
Peterside maintained that there can be no maritime sector without admiralty law as every aspect of shipping is governed by one law or the other, asserting that continuous cooperation amongst government bodies and relevant associations is critical to realizing a robust maritime sector.
The DG, who said association is central to the maritime activities, said that NIMASA would be willing and ready to partner the lawyers.
According to him, without active legal framework, there can be no maritime sector, because the existence of the sector is dependent on certain laws.
Speaking further, he stated that Nigeria is at a strategic point where crude oil and gas is no longer what it used to be, which has forced the Federal government to look critically into other sectors and the maritime sector cannot be ignored, because of the opportunities that abounds in it.
“If there is a strategic partner we have without an iota of doubt, it is the Nigerian Maritime Law Association. In our industry, every stakeholder is affected by admiralty law; right from vessel acquisition, those who pilot the vessels, sea men, those whose goods are carried by the vessels, all of us are subject to one maritime law or the other.
“Without maritime law we have no job to do because ours is to enforce the maritime law, to ensure that we maintain standards and that everybody gets their own fair share in maritime transactions, whether as employees or as somebody whose goods are moved from one place to another, somebody who owns a vessel or even the impact on our environment. So everything we do is subject to law.
“There is an urgent need to reform our laws to bring them in tune with current realities globally and locally, and the other one is in the updating of our current laws in line with global best practices so that our maritime sector can be attractive and competitive in the comity of maritime nations for other people to do businesses with us,” said Peterside.
Mr. Luke Chidi Ilogu, earlier in his speech, commended Peterside’s passion in making Nigeria’s maritime sector rank high in the comity of maritime nations and assured of the continuous support of the body to ensure NIMASA realise its mandate of repositioning itself and the industry.
He also called on the Agency to take advantage of the competence and expertise of professionals in the association for the good of the industry and assured of their availability anytime they are called upon.

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