L-R: Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello; Vice Chairman, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc, Chike Ogeah; Professor representing Head, Department of Commercial and Industrial Law, University of Lagos, Professor Joseph Abugu; Group Managing Director, Sifax Group; Mr Adekunle Oyinloye; Chairman, Sifax Off-Dock, Mrs. Folashade Afolabi and Director, Institute of Maritime Studies, University of Lagos, Professor Olusoji Ilori at the 4th edition of the Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime Conference 2019 organised by The Maritime Forum, University of Lagos and Sifax Group held at University of Lagos on Friday.
The Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi has stressed the need for the federal government to provide adequate funding for maritime security, in order to consolidate on the gains of the industry.
Dr. Afolabi who made the plea at the “Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) Conference 4.0 at the University of Lagos yesterday, noted that the maritime sector can only grow when adequate security measures are put in place.
According to him, attacks on ships either at berth, anchorage or off the nation’s territorial waters can effectively be tackled by the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
While harping on the need for maritime stakeholders to work in harmony, Dr . Afolabi called on operators to come up with innovative solutions that would sustain the growth of the industry.
“Surely, we do not lack innovations due to the constant engagements and collaboration between the operators and the regulatory agencies in the sector.
“We have loads of reforms that can create sustainable growth in the Maritime Sector. All I want to urge is that a strong implementation and feedback mechanism should be put in place and those who have initiated a reform process should be allowed to see it through to the end ,” he said.
The transport icon commended the organisers of the event, UNILAG Maritime Forum for their steadfastness and diligence demonstrated in the sustainability of each of the year’s edition of the forum.
The theme of the TAAM 4.0 tagged ” Innovations and Practical Reforms Towards Sustainable Growth in the Maritime Sector”
“I am particularly happy about this year’s topic” Innovations and Practical Reforms Towards Sustainable Growth in the Maritime Sector “. With IRS huge potentials, because the Nigerian maritime Industry cannot afford to be static or retrogressive.
” I will therefore like to appeal to the federal government and its relevant agencies to further fortify the nation’s coastal areas and maritime boundaries against maritime crime.
“I will not fail to give kudos to NIMASA and other agencies for getting the presidency to assent to the anti – piracy bill recently . It should not just end here alone, there should be a campaign for more funding for maritime security”.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Consultative Council, Otunba Kunle Folarin said “the new economic agenda in the maritime sector and port industry raised concerns on ports reforms and local participation policies. It also call for Direct Foreign Investment policies, the transformation of the ports from a whole public monopoly into a landlord model organization with a master plan that will also include Green Field Development, we must set the agenda”.

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