The minister of transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, has flagged off the national wreck removal exercise in Lagos, with a declaration that the maritime sector was being opened up for great investment opportunities with the exercise.
Amaechi, who extolled the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, for the initiative, said it would tremendously help the federal government’s economic diversification drive and enhance Nigeria’s standing within the global maritime community.
He said: “This creative venture of clearing our waters of wrecks and derelicts, apart from guaranteeing better safety of navigation, opens up the prospects of many new investments in the maritime industry. “This would tremendously help the federal government’s economic diversification drive and enhance Nigeria’s standing within the global maritime community.”
The minister stressed the autonomous status of each of the agencies under the federal ministry of transportation, stating that all the heads of the agencies are appointed on the basis of competence and expertise.
He assured that he would continue to support imaginative ideas from the chief executives.
In his speech, Jamoh said the successful removal of the wrecks and derelicts would restore confidence in Nigerian waters and eliminate obstacles to smooth, safe and profitable navigation.
He thanked the minister for pushing the wreck removal idea through the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The NIMASA boss maintained that the commencement of the wreck removal exercise was another milestone in the incremental achievement of the triple S strategy of the current management of NIMASA, anchored on maritime safety, security and shipping development.
“These wrecks inhibit the operation of shipping companies, which constantly strive to increase efficiency in order to remain in business.
“As a result, most of the shipping companies usually avoid operating or investing in areas where navigational hazards are identified due to high insurance premium, with the elimination or reduction of the costs associated with insurance, survey and charting of wrecks, the cost of shipping would drop to the benefit of mariners and other stakeholders in the maritime industry,” Jamoh explained.