Transport Ministry to Partner Marine Engineers, Surveyors –Amaechi

The Federal Ministry of Transportation says it will work closely with the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) to uplift the maritime sector.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made this known on Monday in Abuja when the Executive Committee of AMES paid him a courtesy visit.

He expressed dismay at the unsatisfactory state of affairs at the country’s seaports and the insecurity on the nation’s waterways.

``I want to, with the management of the ministry of transportation, move the maritime sector forward.

``I don’t feel happy seeing the seaports the way they are; I am not happy seeing NIMASA the way it is.

``Am not happy with the problem of insecurity on the waterways.

``I feel that working together, we should be able to overcome some of these challenges; am very glad to work with you.

``Moreover you are the expert; you are those who have gone to school to learn what it is to be a marine surveyor.

``I need to work closely with you people to continue to acquire the technical knowledge that will make me administer the marine sector properly.

``So your visit is essential to me and I respect that I have the privilege to have to host you.``

Amaechi, however, said that he would attend the forthcoming maritime summit in Lagos as a step towards finding solutions to some of the challenges being experienced in the sector.

Earlier, the President of the association, Mr Charles Uwadia, said that the sector was declining due to non-compliance of operators to international standards and regulations.

``One of the reason of this courtesy call is that we believes that the present failure in the maritime sector is due to lack of in-depth technical input into maritime policies and their implementation in line with international best practices and realities.

``We believe that the decline in standard, quality and profitability of the ships of Nigeria flag can be traced to their poor technical standard occasioned by the owner’s reluctance to comply with national and international standard and regulations.

``It is the opinion of AMES that there is a need for a holistic review of Nigerian Maritime human and technical capacity development and in consideration of these challenges.

``We are here to share our experiences with you in order to move this strategic maritime industry forward. ``

He said that the planned maritime summit scheduled to hold on April 14 in Lagos will focus on the challenges facing the industry and how to move it forward.

Uwadia said that members of AMES were technically sound professionals, trained in maritime operations, management and technical policy formulation.