The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh has lamented the lack of a national shipping line.
Speaking at the launch of the NIMASA Knowledge Centre Library in Kirikiri on Friday, Jimoh said former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo left government with 29 vessels but returned to find none left.
The NIMASA DG who was delighted at the library launch explained that it would help to develop the maritime industry and trace Nigeria’s historical epoch.
He said, “Some of us are alive and know the history of the Nigerian National Shipping Line. Today we don’t have what we is called Nigerian Shipping Line.
“Former President, General Olusegun Obasanjo mentioned several times that he left government with over 29 vessels by the time he returned for second term, there was no single one.
“It is our hope to trace history on the number of those ships and how they looked like and how we can model them and keep them.”
According to the NIMASA boss, the structure is expected to have a guest room for lodging purposes, a workshop, a museum, a helipad and a resource centre.
He said, “The maritime resource development center is an annex to our headquarters. We have the library which has historical books and other types of books. We have the E-library and it is equivalent to international standard.
“We want to link the library to the International Maritime Organisation. Our hope is that this will serve as the centre in Africa. We have a Regional Search and Rescue Centre which will house nine countries of the West and Central Africa. The essence is to develop the maritime industry.
“We have 44 apartment buildings. We want to accommodate lecturers and there is a learning center and administrative block. The remaining 40 apartments is for students. This model will serve as a model that if you want to venture into maritime, you will come hear and learn all about the profession.”
The Librarian, Aisha Askira, explained that the library with combine both the conventional and electronic format.
Similarly, Jamoh explained that progress has been made to ensure that the connectivity of rail to the port is operational next year.
He said this at briefing of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration which held late Friday evening.
He outlined government moves to develop the eastern ports in Onitsha. He also revealed that Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon would chair the occasion