By Florence Onuegbu
The Lagos State Government on Tuesday said that the state was responsible for about 80 per cent of the commercial maritime activities in the country.
Sanwo-Olu said this when the management team of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) led by its Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja.
He said that with the level of maritime activities in Lagos, there was the need for collaboration between the state, NIMASA and other maritime bodies.
”Lagos sits on 70 per cent to 80 per cent of all commercial maritime activities of this country, so it is important for all of us, it is important for the nation, it is important for the agency, it is important for our wellbeing.
”The area of partnership is in that of wreckage. Once we find those wreckages, we should put them out. Our plan is to develop the waterways where people do a lot. It is a deliberate strategy we need to look at. As a government, we are ready to work hand in hand with you.
”We are at the stage of completing 15 jetties in the state. We have moved over 250,000 passengers through out ferries in less than a year.
”We will commission the Lekki Port before the end of this administration so we can decongest Apapa. We are willing and ready. We want to see that real synergy,” the governor said.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, rated Lagos State as the best in maritime safety in the country.
Jamoh said that in spite of the high rate of insecurity in the maritime sector in the country, Lagos remained the only state that had the highest maritime security.
While identifying area of partnerships between the state government and NIMASA, he said that the extinction of the fishing industry was due to insecurity on the waterways.
According to him, the agency is ready to partner Lagos State to ensure safety on the waterways.
”We are seeing the extinction of the fishery industry due to maritime insecurity. Ninety-eight per cent of the maritime insecurity originates from land to sea but Lagos still remains the state that has the highest maritime security,” he said.
He listed other areas of partnerships as: ferry services, waste management on the sea, and the extension and development of the shipping industry.
Jamoh said that the agency was also looking at the ferry services as the alternative means of transportation so that the level of traffic congestion being experienced could be reduced.
”Also the estate management on the sea. Another area has to do with the shipping extension and development, so that our visions which we envisaged in the next 20 years will take us to the promised land,” the DG said.
He said that the maritime industry, if well harnessed, could generate $90 trillion for the country and help the country diversify its reliance on oil.
He said that the Blue Economy, which is the use of the ocean for economic growth, would increase livelihood and enhance the well being of the people.
”We need alliances and we have recognised Lagos State as one of our alliances,” Jamoh said. (NAN)