Some maritime stakeholders on Friday adopted the Nigerian Maritime Handbook published by Nigerian Maritime Publications which they described as key to attracting foreign investments into the country.
The adoption was done during the presentation of the handbook draft copy to maritime stakeholders in Lagos.
The reports state that some of the stakeholders are, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Chambers of Shipping and others.
Mr Kunle Folarin, Chairman, Nigerian Ports Consultative Council (NPCC) said that the document, a veritable legacy to the ports and maritime industry showed that this generation was not a wasted one.
According to him, about three decades ago, the vastness and strategic importance of the maritime resources of Nigeria inspired the publisher to put together this document.
“The handbook is highly recommended to all professionals, academia, government institutions and agencies as a good reference for policy formulation and direction,” Folarin said.
Capt. Abel Ogah, President, Merchant Seafarers Association of Nigeria, while presenting the handbook said that its objectives was to create and sustain an encyclopaedia of the Nigerian maritime industry.
He added that the encyclopaedia was laced with relevant and up-to-date data and information on maritime activities locally and internationally.
“The Nigerian Maritime Handbook is a compendium of the maritime industry conceived in the year 1994 and has 15 sections.
“This is a legal document that will push out activities of the Nigerian maritime industry so that investors will be in the known of what happens there,” he said.
Ogah said that the prayers of the publisher of the document was for comprehensive support and financial contributions from all stakeholders for final production.
He also added that office space to establish a Secretariat and work production centre, material and data contributions from all agencies and stakeholders for continuous updating of the handbook was required.
He said that all hands must be on deck for collective responsibility and management of the maritime handbook and a need to elect a more encompassing management team drawn from maritime agencies, companies and organisations.
Ogah listed the future plans to include amendment, reproducing more copies, public launching, distribution to supporting agencies and assignment of special roles to responsible individual to take charge.
He said that as at today with this presentation, the maritime handbook had become the responsibility of the maritime stakeholders for them to sustain, nurture, harvest and manage.
“The book will serve as a maritime reference material in Nigeria and beyond the shores of Nigeria,” he said.
Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, NIMASA, said that the handbook would help remedy the issue of availability of data in the industry.
Peterside represented by Mrs Nneka Obianyor, Acting Registrar of Ships, NIMASA, said that the handbook was what investors need to know about the potentials in the industry.
Mrs Obiageli Obi, Director-General, Nigerian Chambers of Shipping (NCS), said that collaboration, synergy and cooperation between maritime stakeholders was key for the handbook to take off.
Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, Managing Director, NPA, said that the organisation was trying as much as possible to close gaps in the industry by having a database of ports activities and the book would ensure that.
Bala-Usman represented by Mr Adams Jatto, NPA General Manager, Corporate & Strategic Communications, urged stakeholders to key into the project.
The Publisher of the book, Funmilayo Folorunsho, said that lack of authentic maritime information and accessing the information prompted her to engage in the writing the handbook
Folorunsho also the Secretary General, African Shipowners Association, urged all maritime stakeholders to be part of the handbook before it gets to international organisations.
She mentioned two challenges during the packaging of the handbook such as lack of access to information and funds to enable her get to various organisations needed to be captured.