Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, says universities in the country have crucial roles to play in the development of Nigeria’s Blue Economy.
The agency believes that there is an urgent need to deepen studies in the Blue Economy, especially in the area of research and development, which would help optimise the country’s vast blue economy potential.
Jamoh, who stated this during a courtesy visit by the management team from the University of Lagos led by the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, noted that the agency had remained committed to the development of the Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) in UNILAG.
He urged the management of UNILAG to develop and implement a five-year action plan to make the Institute of Maritime Studies in the university the epicentre of research for the repositioning of the Blue Economy as the leading contributory sector of the nation’s economy. This he said is due to the vast maritime potential Nigeria is blessed with.
“In the next four to five years, both NIMASA and UNILAG should be able to boast of important research milestones achieved by the Institute of Maritime Studies leading to recommendations and action plans geared towards the development of Nigeria’s Blue Economy.
“Considering the fact that maritime is global by nature, the Institute should also have an international focus with students from other African countries welcomed, to broaden the scope of learning and thereby positioning Nigeria as a hub for maritime education as well”, Jamoh said.
He also canvassed the harmonisation of 16 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) which the agency has signed with universities in Nigeria, to serve as a guide for the IMS in UNILAG.
On her part, Prof. Ogunsola assured the NIMASA management of the university’s commitment towards sustaining standards by intentionally changing the narrative of maritime education in Nigeria.
While appealing for the agency to complete the UNILAG-IMS building project, she said the institution will embrace partnerships with local and international parties to ensure UNILAG becomes a formidable force in the Maritime space through developing and grooming the right capacities, driving relevant research, ensuring proper certification, securing industry engagement and facilitating exchange opportunities for students for global relevance.
The NIMASA Institute of Maritime Studies (IMS) building in UNILAG is one of six projects sited in each geopolitical zone of the country by the agency to provide suitable manpower requirements for the contemporary maritime industry, through comprehensive theoretical and practical maritime training.
Meanwhile, Jamoh disclosed that NIMASA has increased the number of Ballistic Enforcement Vessels in its kitty to seven as it took delivery of two new ones, adding that the delivery of the boats would further improve maritime safety administration in Nigeria.
In a terse statement through his X-handle, Jamoh said: “I am delighted to announce that we have taken delivery of two more Ballistic Enforcement Vessels, bringing the total number available to NIMASA to seven.
“The Aresa eight-passenger Ballistic Vessels have a cruising speed of 25 Knots and a tank capacity of 1,800. Our capability to discharge our mandate as an agency is better enhanced, leading to improved maritime safety administration in Nigeria.”