By Gboyega Oni
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ghanaian Maritime Authority (GMA) on capacity building, joint research adn efforts to combat piracy and terrorism towards the development of maritime potentials that abound in the two nations and forster regional integration.
Performing the signing that took place at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre in Lagos, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA, noted that intra-African collaboration is a vital requirement for Africans to effectively harness the natural potentials that the Blue economy represent for the continent.
“African countries must cooperate to solve challenges peculiar to the continent. All maritime nations on the African continent have comparative advantage in different areas, and only collaboration will ensure that we complement each other, thus ensuring that the maritime sector contribute effectively to the growth of the continent,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria and Ghana have a historical link in the maritime sector and the African maritime sector is richly endowed to the extent that coastal and aquatic ecosystems within the continent are treasures that provide diverse and vibrant natural resources.
The NIMASA DG commended the Management of Ghana Maritime Authority for seeking the collaboration and noted that the move will go a long way to strengthen efforts in the areas of promotion of scientific and technical cooperation; trade and movement facilitation; exchange of information, data, knowledge and experience.
“The importance of bilateral cooperation to solve maritime environmental challenges that transcend international boundaries in our coastal and aquatic ecosystem cannot be overemphasised. We are ready, and will give our supports to tackle all associated maritime challenges that have over time impede and slow the region’s maritime sectoral progress. We are ready to work with Ghana in all fronts within our defined and enabling capacities. NIMASA will not relent or derelict its duties and responsibilities within the contemplation of this MoU”, the DG said.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of the Ghana Maritime Authority Mr. Kwama Owusu commended NIMASA and its Management for the role of championing the growth of the maritime sector in the sub-region in particular and in Africa in general. Mr. Kwame thanked NIMASA leadership and noted that the MoU would bring about constructive and healthy competition within the West African sub-region, as Ghana would continue to cross-fertilise ideas with Nigeria in the needed areas and at the same time learn from NIMASA as regards critical functional areas of maritime operations as encapsulated in the MoU.
The highlight of the renewable MoU, which has a life span of four years, include knowledge transfer and sharing Initiative between both agencies; joint capacity building initiative; cabotage enforcement joint study initiative; joint comparative research initiative and joint efforts to combat piracy and terrorism initiative.
It would be recalled that the Management of the Ghana Maritime Authority had early in the year visited the NIMASA on a fact finding mission with the aim of ascertaining areas of possible collaboration and cooperation.