Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has said that his administration cherishes the relationship with the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) because the maritime sector has great potential for the economic advancement of his state.
Governor Diri, who stated this at a dinner organised in honour of the NIMASA Director-General, Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh, and his entourage in Government House, Yenagoa, on Tuesday night, noted that the riverine nature of the state makes the partnership with the agency imperative.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying that the visit marked the beginning of a new page in the relationship between the state and NIMASA.
Governor Diri noted that oil wealth would not last forever hence the need to turn attention to the maritime sector, which holds great potential for the state’s advancement economically.
He stressed that the agency was important to the state and that both parties can achieve so much working together.
He expressed the optimism that with the wealth of experience of the NIMASA boss, Bayelsa would experience true prosperity.
The state’s Chief Executive tasked youths to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the partnership to be self-reliant rather than engage in social vices.
He said, “When we visited you in Lagos, you truly promised to return our visit. In Bayelsa State, our environment is almost 90 per cent riverine.
“Crude oil is losing value and we must open a new page for our economic prosperity. The new windows and our riches are in the maritime domain. Everything in the ocean is money.
“This partnership will open up employment for our youths. It is a new dawn of progress, development and prosperity in Bayelsa.”
Responding, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, thanked Governor Diri for the warm reception accorded him and his team and congratulated him on his victory at the courts, describing it as divine.
He commended the state governor for his foresight, which has led him to look beyond oil, saying such vision is in line with the mandate of NIMASA.
He promised to work with the state government to diversify the revenue sources of the state.
The high point of the event was the presentation of copies of the book, “Harnessing Nigeria’s Maritime Assets” written by Dr. Jamoh to the governor.