Ijaw youths, yesterday, lampooned shipowners in Nigeria following their call to sack the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) , Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
The youths under the auspices of the Peretubo Oweilami-led Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Worldwide, described the call as a needless distraction.
The group’s Spokesman, Mr. Daniel Dasimaka, threw its weight behind Peterside saying he needed commendations for bringing innovations to the maritime sector.
He said apart from the innovations, the shipowners should thank Peterside for his many achievements in the short time he had been in office.
Dasimaka said that Ijaw youths were saddened by the needless attacks on Peterside, whom he described as one of the stars of the Buhari Administration.
Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN) demanded the sacking of the NIMASA boss, citing alleged incompetence, which they claimed had crippled indigenous shipping operations in the country following lack of funding and deficient government policies.
But IYC Spokesman said it was shameful that Mr. Greg Ogbeifun, the President of SOAN would demarket the Nigerian Maritime sector in his false claims.
Dasimaka said: “For the records, NIMASA safety records under Dakuku Peterside are unparalleled. In the last one year, NIMASA recorded less than 10 maritime accidents.
‘Contrary to the SOAN President’s claims, under Dr Peterside, NIMASA actually foiled seven out of eleven sea pirates attacks in Nigerian waterways.
“NIMASA is also working tirelessly to create a legal framework to battle sea piracy by relentlessly pushing for the passage of an Anti-piracy bill for a safer Nigerian Maritime domain.
“Moreso, under Dakuku NIMASA has secured Minister of Transportation’s approval to increase number of Search and Rescue Marshalls from 100 to 1000 for safety boat users in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
“Under him, 114 Port facilities of the total 145 ports in Nigeria are now fully ISPS compliant, which makes Nigeria to be rated 80% compliant higher than her assigned 13% compliant level five years ago.
“Due to the foregoing and others, NIMASA activities in the last one year attracted United States Coast Guard’s commendation.This is why the baseless claims by Mr Ogbeifun are quite unfortunate, especially coming from one as highly placed to know better.
“The fact that the NIMASA boss is modest about his achievements and do not go to the media to trumpet his successes should not be abused to undo him.
“Under Peterside, NIMASA has taken all corrective measures recommended by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Member State Audit Scheme (IMSAS) report in June 2016.
“Thus, it now operates a 24-hour surveillance system to capture vessels in the Nigerian Maritime domain irrespective of weather conditions.