The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has advised Nigerians to get involved in vast Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) businesses in Nigerian maritime industry.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, gave the advice in Enugu during the NIMASA Special Day at the ongoing 31st Enugu International Trade Fair.
Jamoh, represented by Mr Victor Onuzuruike, Director of Special Duties, said that SMEs could come in and provide services and products needed by seafarers and also tap from the enormous wealth of the blue economy (wealth of the seas).
He noted that ordinary Nigerians with low capital could engage in making of fishing nets, provide big threads for pulling or anchoring light ships, boats, ferries, tugs among others.
“Nigerians at the SMEs level can also provide catering services for seafarers and their on-land support staff; provide vessel cleaning, laundry and refuse collection services.
“You can tap from the maritime business by providing fresh and hygienic water on board of vessels as well as painting, decoration and wielding services as well.
“All these are just what Nigerians can do in the coastlines and earn a living and employ some hands as well to assist them,’’ he said.
Jamoh, however, noted that apart from the popular clearing and forwarding as well as trucking services; Nigerians could also provide storage facilities, cold stores and security patrol services on-shore and in-land offices of the shipping companies.
The director-general noted that the maritime industry was not only for the very rich or big time players; as some lower products and services needed in the sector had been reserved for Nigerians by the Cabotage law.
He also urged Nigerians to take advantage of free short-term seafaring trainings as well as other programmes of the Maritime University to learn more about the sea and get employed to work directly in ships.
Earlier, President of the Chamber, Chief Emeka Nwandu, said that NIMASA had provided the needed security and safety in the nation’s coastlines.
Nwandu called on Nigerians to take advantage of the SMEs businesses opened at the ports and other coastline areas.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ongoing fair, which started on March 13, would end by March 23 at the Trade Fair Complex, Golf Estate, GRA Enugu.
This year’s Fair theme is: “Advancing the Growth of SMEs through Corporate Governance for Rapid Economic Development’’. (NAN)