Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday expressed his administration’s readiness to partner and synergise with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and other federal agencies in areas of comparative advantages for the growth and development of the State and Federal Government.
Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance while receiving the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh and other top officials of the federal agency, who paid a courtesy visit to him at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday.
The Governor while stressing the need for collaboration between Lagos State Government and the federal agency, enjoined NIMASA to work with the State in the areas of certification and training for small boat operators, removal of wreckages, improved coastline rotation and clearing of the waterways.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who disclosed that Lagos State is responsible for over 70 percent of maritime activities in Nigeria, said the State Government has put in place many plans and policies to improve the blue economy in Nigeria through business opportunities in the maritime sector.
He said the Lekki Deep Port will be commissioned before the end of his administration to decongest the Apapa Port, noting that several investments that Lagos is making in the maritime sector when completed will increase businesses and revenues for NIMASA.
“We are at the stage of completing 15 jetties in the state. We have moved over 250,000 passengers through our ferry services in less than a year. 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 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,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General of NIMASA commended Lagos State Government for ensuring that the State is the safest maritime domain in the country based on how the Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration has addressed insecurity in the State.
Jamoh, who disclosed that 70 to 80 percent of the goods coming in and out of the country are from Lagos, noted that in spite of the high rate of insecurity in the maritime sector in the country, Lagos remains the only state that has the highest maritime security.
The DG of NIMASA said the maritime industry, if well harnessed could help the country diversify and end its reliance on oil, adding that the Blue economy, which is the use of the ocean for economic growth, will increase livelihood and enhance the wellbeing of our people.
He said the areas of partnership between Lagos State Government and NIMASA, will include fishery, safety on the waterways, ferry services, waste management on the sea, extension and development of the shipping industry.