UBarring any unforeseen bottlenecks, Nigeria and Sierra-Leone may soon engage in bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime administration aimed at boosting the capacity building and personnel training of the latter country, for her effective Ports State Control and seafarers training.
Already, a high powered delegation from the Sierra-Leone Maritime Administration (SLMA) has visited Nigeria to solicit the support of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), towards the expected collaboration.
Spokesperson of NIMASA Hajia Lami Tumaka, who confirmed the development, said the Sierra –Leonean team was led by Chairman of the Board of SLMA, Mr. Lansana Dambuya commended NIMASA for its capacity building initiatives saying it was a model worthy of emulation.
“The leader of the Sierra Leonean delegation said that the SLMA thought it wise to partner with NIMASA, one of the leading Maritime Administrations in Africa and to seek areas of collaboration for the benefit of both countries.
“The delegation also canvassed for the endorsement of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NIMASA that will give opportunity for the exchange of ideas among staff to not only develop their capacities but also further cement the bond between both countries” Tumaka said.
She said the visiting team was well received by the Director General of NIMASA Dr.Dakuku Peterside who commended SLMA for embarking on the working visit and assured the delegation of NIMASA’s cooperation at all times.
She said the DG was represented by the Director of Maritime Labour Services, Mrs Juliana Gunwa, who emphasised the need for collaborative efforts in order to ensure the growth and development of the maritime industry in Africa.
“Tracing the history of the cordial relationship Nigeria has had with Sierra Leone, the DG assured the delegation that the Agency will consider their requests and act accordingly for the benefit of both countries” Tumaka added.
While calling on countries of the Gulf of Guinea to join the fight against rising cases of piracy in the region, the NIMASA DG said “we are open more than ever before to collaboration and sharing of intelligence on issues relating to piracy and other crimes in order to rid our waters of this menace that has clearly become a danger to our collective prosperity”.
The DG welcomed the call for collaboration amongst Maritime Administrations saying they must always co-operate with each other for the benefit of securing the maritime environment and to making it safe and secure for shipping activities to thrive.