By Okezie Nnadi
… NIGERIA: Doorway to The African Blue Economy for Shipping Development – Korean Envoy
THE Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency ( NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh OFR has revealed that Nigeria and Korea will soon commence shipbuilding partnership, since Korea is a foremost maritime country with highly recognized capacity in the areas of shipbuilding and ship repairs which therefore accords Nigeria the will to partner with Korea in Shipbuilding for the short, medium and long term benefits of both countries
The DG NIMASA made this known during a courtesy visit made by the Deputy Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs, Republic of Korea, Choi Yeong and the team was led by the Korean Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency Kim Young Chae.
Dr Jamoh stressed that the relationship between both countries is over 40 years , and there is need to strengthen it. He noted that Korea is a leading maritime nation with highly recognized capacity in the areas of shipbuilding and ship repairs
“There is no how the issue of trade can flourish without adequate security. NIMASA is making steady progress in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and other security Agencies to secure the safety and security of investors, Vessels, and Seafarers in the Nigerian maritime domain. Considering the fact that population of Koreans is highest in Nigeria when compared to other African states, the need for improved relationship between Nigeria and Korea cannot be over emphasized.
Korea has arguably the best Shipbuilding Companies globally and that is an area we desire partnership. We have commenced discussions with the Samsung Group Hyundai as well on the issue of shipbuilding and ship repairs.”
Choi Yeong, of the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Minister for Overseas Koreans and Consular Affairs, in their response affirmed that Nigeria is the key to the Blue Economy’s potential on the African Continent.
Similarly His Excellency Kim Young Chae also applauded the sustained and enhanced security situation in the Gulf of Guinea due to Nigeria’s significant presence and said that the Korean government looks forward to continuing support from the Nigerian government in the area of intelligence and information sharing.
“Nigeria is one of the biggest country on the African continent in terms of economic size, population and market potentials. So Nigeria could be a very important partner to us the People of Korea. Nigeria could be our gateway to the whole of African continent. We are glad to inform you that Korea has scheduled a summit involving the entire African continent in 2024 and we hope it will strengthen relationship with Nigeria and Africa.” He said.
DGNIMASA in response to concerns about piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, said that since the second quarter of 2021, there have been no kidnapping or security problems, assuring them that the Federal Government is committed to creating a secure maritime environment in Nigeria. He also said that the time is now to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Korea and Nigeria, especially in the fishing industry.
“I believe we can also explore improved interphase in areas such as deep sea fishing. . Fishing in Nigeria used to be a very large source of income not far behind oil and Gas. The numbers are not looking very encouraging at the moment. Partnership will lead to more fishing trawlers in Nigerian waters”.
In conclusion the team visited Beep Blue C4i center, situated at the NIMASA NMRDC at Kirikiri, was also visited by Choi Yeong
They also went to the Kitack Lim Regional Maritime Safety and Security Centre of Excellence, the Marine Environment Management Laboratory, and the NIMASA e-Library.