By Scroll reporter Lagos, Nigeria


President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and safety Agency NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside over his election as the Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA).

L-R: Head, African Section of International Maritime Organization (IMO), Williams Azuh, South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA), and outgoing Chairman  of AAMA, Mr. Sobantu Tilayi with Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the newly elected Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA) at the Communiqué section of the Conference.

The Presidents congratulatory message was contained in a statement issued by Presidential spokesman Mr. Femi Adesina on Saturday in Abuja.
President Buhari described the election of the DG NIMASA as the chairman of the continental body for the next one year as a confirmation that the country has the human capital required to make Nigeria a leading maritime nation.

He said “Peterside unanimous election is not only a personal honour and an affirmation of confidence in his ability to lead AAMA but also places Nigeria in a pivotal position to rally other maritime administrations in collaboration with the International Maritime Organization (IMO) towards safer global maritime activities.
According to the President, Dr Peterside’s new position provides him with an even bigger platform to forge ahead in doing the nation proud by meeting objectives of AAMA.

L-R: Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the newly elected Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), an IMO official, Hussein Amr, and Head, African Section of International Maritime Organization (IMO), Williams Azuh, at the Communiqué section of the Conference.

President Buhari acknowledged NIMASA’s encouraging performance under Dr Peterside especially in the fight against Sea Piracy through inter agency cooperation.

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside was elected as the new Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrators (AAMA) at the just concluded third conference of the association with the theme ‘Sustainable Use of Africa’s Oceans and Seas attended by 34 African countries held from April 19 to 21, 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

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Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, who addressed a media conference shortly after  the event, said that the NIMASA – DG would pilot affairs of AAMA for a period of one year tenure, as Egypt would host the next conference while South Africa retains the secretariat.
Meanwhile Namibia and Seychelles are jostling for the 2019 hosting right, as the chosen host could not be confirmed at the time of filing this report.

AAMA, a body of 34 African countries including Nigeria, unanimously elected Peterside at the conference jointly organised by NIMASA and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) which drew attendance from maritime countries within the African continent and across the globe.

Peterside, takes over from Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, the acting Chief Executive Officer of South African Maritime and Safety Agency (SAMSA), who has been the acting Chair of the association since 2013.


His election comes barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled the new NIMASA brand with a renewed interest by the government to grow the country’s economy through her maritime resources.
At a well attended closing session, Tilayi, the outgoing Chairman described Peterside as a committed and dedicated technocrat that will, no doubt, take maritime administration to a higher level.

Many other participants expressed optimism in Peterside’s leadership ability to improve on the fortunes of the continent through concerted maritime collaboration that will attract interest of African states through their various Maritime Administrations (MARADs).

Within the last one year, Peterside has been able to improve on inter agency and inter government cooperation in the fight against piracy resulting to a reduction in incidences of piracy and sea robberies.

NIMASA under his watch has broaden the scope of maritime administration in Nigeria with an approval for regional headquarters to be sited in strategic maritime locations in the country including Port Harcourt.
On the other hand, in his goodwill message to the African maritime group, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Secretary General made a strong case for an increment in Africa’s tonnage and development of other shipbuilding and marine infrastructure to increase the continent’s participation in global shipping activities.
The IMO-scribe, who was represented by the head, Africa (Anglophone) Section Technical Cooperation Division of the International Maritime Organization, IMO, Mr. William Azuh, at the conference, cited the 2016 UNCTAD review of maritime transport, which indicates that out of the 35 top ship-owning countries in the world, which also make up about 95 per cent of world ship tonnage, none is an African country.


He charged leadership of the association and indeed member states of the association to begin to develop the framework that would enable them take full advantage of the vast maritime potential embedded in the continent.
He said: “I however believe that the leadership of AAMA and indeed your home governments will, when considering such statistics, seriously take into account the history of the national shipping lines and the reasons for their demise”.

He added that, the very high level of risk which investing in the shipping industry entails; and the benefits for the wider public which can be realised if the funds were to be spent towards achieving national sustainable development priorities should be taken into consideration.