TheNorwegian government has commended Nigeria for it leadership role in ensuring safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt also and declared the country’s readiness to deepen relationship with Nigeria in the maritime sector with particular reference to capacity development.
Huitfeldt, made her country’s position known when during a working visit to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
In a statement, the Assistant Director, Public Relations of NIMASA Osagie Edward, quoted Huitfeldt as saying that “the Norwegian Government is happy to be in collaboration with NIMASA and Nigeria as a whole, with regards to the maritime sector today. The safety and security of vessels and Seafarers particularly in the Gulf of Guinea is highly prioritised by the Norwegian government. Therefore, Nigeria is a very important partner for Norway. We came here with shipowners from Norway to explore ways of collaboration to deepen the relationship between both countries, particularly in the area of capacity development. NIMASA has progressed very well in achieving her vision of being the leading Maritime Administration in Africa”.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, assured the Norwegian delegation that the Agency in collaboration with other organs of government particularly the Nigerian Navy would deepen regional collaboration to sustain the momentum of improved security in the region. He also noted that the soon to be disbursed Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds CVFF would serve as a catalyst for shipping development in the country.
“We are mindful of the importance of collaboration in driving the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector, hence we will continue to partner with relevant security agencies like the Nigerian Navy and other global partners in order to sustain the momentum of securing the Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea”, Jamoh said.
Speaking on the CVFF issues, the DG said, “We are at the last stage of disbursing the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, as the Ministry has met with all parties involved; as soon as the modalities are set, shipowners should rest assured that the funds will be disbursed very soon”,
Speaking also, the Executive Director Norwegian Ship owners Association Audun Halvorsen informed that their association with over 1700 members is looking forward to collaborating with NIMASA and shipowners in Nigeria in the areas of investment and capacity development.
During the visit, her team toured the Marine Environment Management Laboratory and the Command, Control, Computer, Communication and Information Center, otherwise known as the C4i Center of the Deep Blue Project, both located at the Agency’s operational office at Kirikiri, Lagos.