Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has urged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to return its Cabotage Services Department to Port Harcourt.
The governor made the request when the NIMASA Director General, Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh , paid him a courtesy call at Government House, Port Harcourt.
Governor Wike said the operations of the Cabotage Services Department of NIMASA used to be in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, but was taken to Lagos without justification.
Governor Wike also lambasted the Minister of transportation Rotimi Amaechi for using his office to bring employment opportunities to Rivers state.
“Some people came here last week talking about unemployment in the state, meanwhile you are heading an organization that can create a lot of employment for Rivers people; and who is in charge? A Rivers son!”.
“So you have done well by identifying that we should go for the blue economy by making sure that what are those things that we can do as an agency that can add to revenue and create employment for our people because that is the key”.
“As an agency we have comparative advantage, but I can tell you, Rivers state does have comparative advantage”. “Whether is terrorism or in sports we have the best of it”
“So we are telling you to bring back the cabotage service department, bring it back”. “I think your headquarters is there, then bring this one back”.
Earlier, the NIMASA boss, Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, said the agency is working on a 10-year plan to develop ocean resources in the country.
“We are here to create awareness of these resources and the potential benefits of these ocean resources as well as encourage investment in these area.”
“In so doing, we will like the state government to be parts and parcel of drawing our own road map and polices that will allow us harnessed these resources”
“And in so doing, we are now going round to educate and encourage the state to formulate special committees to come up with their own area of comparative advantage to help grow the economy”.