Ongoing bilateral talks between Bayelsa State Government and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) made significant progress Tuesday, when the two discussed critical economic partnership in the maritime industry.
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, said that his administration will sustain and cherish the relationship it has built with NIMASA, noting that the maritime sector has great potential for the economic advancement of his state.
Governor Diri, who stated this at a dinner organised in honour of the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh and his entourage in Government House, Yenagoa, Tuesday night, noted that the riverine nature of the state makes the partnership with the agency imperative.
Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, in a statement quoted the governor as saying that the visit marked the beginning of a new page in the relationship between the state and NIMASA. Governor Diri noted that oil wealth would not last forever hence the need to turn attention to the maritime sector, which according to him holds great potential for the economic advancement of the state.
He noted that both the state and the NIMASA can achieve much working together, stressing the criticality of the agency to positively impact on the state’s maritime potential, with the right engagement and attitude; further noting that coastal and maritime states have much to gain from the wealth of experience of the NIMASA boss.
Governor Diri said that in the days ahead, concrete and particular areas of economic cooperation will be outlined alongside practical application, even as he urged youths of the state to take advantage of the opportunities that the economic partnership will offer, especially in the effort to be self-reliant rather than engage in social vices.
He said: “When we visited you in Lagos, you truly promised to return our visit. In Bayelsa State, our environment is almost 90 per cent riverine. Crude oil is losing value and we must open a new page for our economic prosperity. The new windows and our riches are in the maritime domain. Everything in the ocean is money.
“This partnership will open up employment for our youths. It is a new dawn of progress, development and prosperity in Bayelsa.”
Responding, the NIMASA helmsman congratulated his host on his electoral victory at the courts, describing it as divine. Jamoh also commended the state governor for his economic foresight, in view of the state’s practical economic re-engineering in which Governor Diri is leading the state to look beyond oil, noting that such vision is in line with the mandate of NIMASA.
He promised to work with the state government to diversify its revenue sources. A technocrat and budding maritime resource person, Jamoh used the opportunity to present copies of the book “”Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets” written by him to the governor; as the high point of the bilateral engagement.
It will be recalled that the Governor Diri in September this year, was the first to visit NIMASA and its leadership, where the economic talk commenced.