The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has restated the determination of the present administration to enhance the technical capacity of all the segments of the Transportation sector to improve its contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

He gave the assurance at the 2nd Nigerian Maritime Technical Summit organised by the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) with the theme ‘Ship Operations in Nigeria: Policy, Technical, Financial Challenges and Solution’ held in Lagos recently.

The Minister, who was represented at the event by the Director General Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, explained that Marine Engineers and Surveyors remained critical to the growth of the maritime sector.

Specifically, he assured that government would continue to provide the needed support in terms of proper funding, right policies and right technical direction to grow the sector.

The Minister said: “Marine Engineers and Surveyors are at the very heart of shipping, the life of a ship begins on the table of a marine engineer and the surveyors and they continue to play a role on the ship through the entire life span of the vessel.”

According to him, as part of efforts to make all the sub-sectors in the industry perform optimally, government has initiated the audit of all agencies and parastatals in the Transport sector.

This is even as hinted on plans by government to revive the National Fleet with the setting up of a committee comprising representatives of stakeholders in the industry, adding that the committee will soon submit its report and recommendations for consideration by government.

On the current reforms in the maritime sector, the minister also disclosed that government had taken steps to develop the Port Master Plan while also mandating the NIMASA to invest in manpower development that would raise successors for the experienced practitioners in the industry.

While commending the AMES for its professional commitment to grow the maritime sector, Amaechi charged all industry players to continue to support the association in its efforts to add value to the transportation sector.

Earlier in his remarks, the association’s President, Engr. Charles Uwadia, pledged that AMES would continue to work with the government in order to optimize the industry’s potential for national economic growth.