…Sets to Commission State-of-the -Art Hospital for Seafarers
… Raises Hope for Regional Maritime Bank
By DAPO OLAWUNI
Within a spate of four months, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has acquired permanent zonal offices in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Lokoja in order to boost it’s role as apex maritime administration in Nigeria.
This is even as the agency has revealed that it is set to commission a state of the art hospital to the benefit of all Nigerian seafarers and Nigerian people at large.
Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh stated this on Tuesday in Abuja at the official commissioning ceremony of the Abuja Zonal Office named after the late maritime icon; Otunba Olakunle Folarin.
Speaking at the event, Dr Jamoh noted that since the Abuja zonal office was established in 1987, it has been operating from a rented apartment with constant trepidation of her landlords.
He hinted that the new building will also house the much awaited regional maritime bank
“This edifice reflects my management commitment in providing a world class working environment in addition to the recently improved condition of service for all our employees. With this investment, we have taken things up a topnotch by providing support, infrastructure, environment regarding safety, security, we practice what we preach and we do what we said.
“This edifice has CCTV gadgets for security surveillance for internal and external parts of the building.
There is an automated glass door at the entrance of the building. Stand by KVA generator brand new one.
It has an ambience for staff and officers of the agency to unleash their potentials.
“The location itself and the overall make-up of this structure is expected to constitute an enabling environment for quality service delivery and improve workers productivity.
“The building seats on 1,361.73 square meters of land consisting of five floors, the sixth floor being the penthouse serves as the safe and service room.
“The facilities in the penthouse meets all best practices standards in hosting international meetings and high level engagement. Each floor has an open layout call concept with no wall obstruction but pillars with conveniences for three for men and women and space for canteen services. The building has six persons elevators among others” he said
The NIMASA DG observed that most government agencies have enormous resources, but at the end of the day, they end up being beggars because of bureaucracy in approvals.
He however said “With the full support, guidance of the Federal Ministry of Transportation under the leadership of Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo, with the approval of the Federal Executive Council, today, we are here to celebrate one of the most important edifice that NIMASA has.
“No matter how the bat flies, he would have to come down, no mater how we use our own waters, we have to come to the land, and if we come to the land we would not remain in Lagos, we have to come to Abuja for oversight functions”
He commended Hon Linda Ikpeazu and House of Representatives Committee on Transportation for working tirelessly to provide the budget for NIMASA.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the approval and the entire members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the gesture given to the agency.
“We are inviting all of you to commission a bigger building than this in Port Harcourt with adjacent clinic attached to it next week.
We would consequently commission Calabar and Lokoja offices before the end of this administration. All these projects were started in the last four months.
“We are also inviting you to come for the commissioning of the state of the art hospital that would serve not only Nigerians but all seafarers” he said
He urged all NIMASA staff to act responsibly adding that the asset belongs to Nigerian people but only given to NIMASA as a custodian.
“We would ensure a culture of maintainance that would extend it’s lifespan, we would only serve as a caretaker” he said
Also speaking, the Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo while giving his opening remarks said the role of NIMASA cannot be understated in the delivery of Nigeria’s economic potential.
He added that there is a strong need to put in place strategic and tangible structures that will yield quantifiable and intangible dividends in the years to come.
“I am delighted to commission the NIMASA Abuja Zonal Office today, the 16th of May, 2023, here in the Diplomatic Zone of the Central Area, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
“As a nation at the cusp of an Economic Renaissance, with boundless opportunities in its Maritime Domain, the role of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency cannot be understated in the delivery of Nigeria’s economic potential.
“However, for us as a nation to achieve our potential, there is a strong need to put in place strategic and tangible structures that will yield quantifiable and intangible dividends in the years to come.
“As we flag off the Commissioning of all Completed Projects by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, what will become apparent for all to see is the intentionality, commitment and focus of the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that the proper foundation is put in place so that as a people, we can continuously build towards a greater tomorrow.
“Today, we are gathered here to commission the newly acquired NIMASA Abuja Zonal Office. At the same time, there may be those who will raise questions about the need for a Maritime Administration to secure an office in Abuja, where there is no ocean.
“But I assure you that the acquisition of this office is not to fulfil another bureaucratic justification but due to the responsibilities and functions that the zonal office plays in discharging NIMASA’s mandate.
“The Abuja Zonal Office serves as the nexus point between the NIMASA and the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the National Assembly, and all other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as critical stakeholders like the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL), amongst others.
“The Abuja Zonal Office further oversees the operations of the NIMASA’s Lokaja Safety Base, thereby playing a pivotal role in delivering the Agency’s regulatory responsibilities on safety matters in our inland waterways.
“Therefore, due to the strategic role the Abuja Zonal Office plays, it became imperative to establish a permanent station as several limiting factors encumber the current office from the restrictive nature of operating from a rented property, limiting NIMASAs ability to restructure and modify the facility to meet exigencies necessary to increase productivity, to the long-term financial implications of paying exorbitant rents.
“Apart from the reduction of cost of governance, the New Abuja Zonal Office will serve as the centrepiece of government relations on matters with bilateral and Multilateral implications on International Trade and Cooperation, as such, enable the Agency to host Foreign Diplomats and other key Maritime Stakeholders in the Federal Capital Territory, thereby helping the Agency speedily achieve its mandate especially when they need to reach out to the different arms of Government.
“All these factors have led to the acquisition of the New Abuja Zonal Office and serve as further proof of the growth in capacity of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency due to its deepened role in the economic development of Nigeria.
“As the supervisory Ministry, our support for NIMASA and the expansion of the maritime sector has been and will continue to be immense, and we are happy that the ripple effects of the support cuts across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
“We remain committed to our oversight function as we continue to create the enabling operational regimes for the Agencies and Departments under the FMOT. This project is, therefore, a pointer to our determination in that regard.
“At this juncture, it is important to appreciate the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Mohammadu Buhari GCFR, the Vice President, His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo SAN, and all the members of the Federal Executive Council for approving the procurement of the New Abuja Zonal Office
“Furthermore, l acknowledge and commend the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, the Board of the Agency, members of the Executive Management, Top Management and Staff of NIMASA, and their contractors Messrs. Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited for the successful delivery of this project which will no doubt serve the good people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is now my pleasure to commission this project for improved service delivery and economic development. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” he said.