By Shola Fadeyi and Deinde Adefarakan
Dr Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA DG
Sequel to the need to cushion the debilitating effect of the novel Coronavirus pandemic on the Maritime sector stakeholders, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has dispatched a list of assorted requests to President Muhammadu Buhari ,and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for incentives for the support of the shipping sector.
While the Agency has passed the lists of demands meant for the Presidency to the Transportation Minister , Rotimi Amaechi for perusal, vetting and approval before onward submission to President Buhari , the ones meant for the CBN have also been sent to the Apex Bank’s Governor , Dr Godwin Emefiele.
Investigation by Marineandeconmoy Online at the Ministry of Transportation , however revealed that the Transportation Minister is keenly interested in the proposal and has begun to attend to it, with a view to giving it his nod, before sending it to the President for the final approval .
It was gathered that five different requests which comprised physical and post- covid incentives were sent to the Ministry by the Agency, while it specifically demanded for monetary incentives for the maritime operators from the Apex Bank.
The Agency was said to have made the requests in view of the series of hardships which stakeholders in the maritime sector have faced, and the series of losses that they have incurred since the outbreak of the COVID -19 , and due to the need to enable them to recoup accordingly..
The need for the incentives for the maritime sector, has also stemmed from the fact that some other sectors of the economy have received various incentives from the government and the CBN since the outbreak of the COVID -19.
The NIMASA DG, Dr Bashir Jamoh who confirmed during his engagement with the Media in Lagos recently that the proposals for the incentives have gone to the Ministry and the CBN, said that he was optimistic that the demands would be granted , because the Maritime sector which is the beneficiary merits them , due to its importance as the backbone of the economy.
According to him, if the agriculture, entertainment and the aviation sectors of the economy have received various forms of incentives from the government and the Apex Bank , the maritime sector also deserves to be given incentives to make it cushion the effect of the raging coronavirus.
The NIMASA DG stated that the Agency was looking forward to the approvals for the incentives because of the role they would play in assuaging the pains of the stakeholders in the maritime sector adding that it is one of the areas in which the organization would want to make a positive impact.
As its own contributions to the fight against the pandemic , it will be recalled that the NIMASA management also donated N50 million, 20 ventilators as well as gave other supports to fight the disease in Nigeria. While it gave N30 million of the money to the Federal Government Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 , it gave N20 million to aid the Lagos State Government’s effort to control the spread of the virus.
It likewise volunteered six fast intervention vessels to facilitate transport logistics support in the maritime sector, just as it deployed some volunteers from the Agency, to join the first responders from the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Lagos and other states in managing the spread of the pandemic.
The Agency has also volunteered four fully equipped brand new Ambulances, four Hilux trucks and four 36 seater coaster buses to support and facilitate land based logistics in the Federal capital Territory, Lagos, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Kaduna States. It also donated several medical equipments.