By Ephraims Sheyin
Mr Emmanuel Jime, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has emphasised the need for the support of the media in the efforts to reposition the maritime industry to meet set targets.
“We must build a robust partnership with the media. It is very crucial to our success in the maritime industry as government looks more toward diversifying and broadening Nigeria’s economic horizon,” Jime said.
He spoke at the weekend when he received a delegation of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who paid him a courtesy call.
Jime said that the maritime industry was going through various reforms and implementing new strategies toward easing the time, cost and environment of doing business.
“Such efforts require the buy-in of all stakeholders and the general public.
“People living in the areas where the activities are undertaken also need to be carried along. We cannot do this without working with the media,” he said.
Jime particularly lauded the shippers’ council’s partnership with NAN over the years, saying that the maritime outfit had benefitted immensely from that partnership.
“We shall continue to build on that rewarding relationship with NAN.
“Aside covering our activities effectively, NAN remains the most credible source of news in the country and even the whole world.
“Anything I read from NAN, I just believe it is the gospel truth. NAN cannot lie. Their editors are always meticulous and strive to balance every information before publishing it.
“In an era where fake news is common, NAN has kept its head high and distinguished itself as freshly different. We shall continue to identify and work with NAN to propagate our activities,” he said.
Jime said that the NSC shall continue to crave NAN’s friendship as it curries support of all concerned toward achieving its mandate of protecting players and regulating activities of the maritime industry.
“We try to regulate the cost of doing business. We also try to regulate local shipping charges and also ensure quality service delivery.
“We have worked out the port process manual and will strive to ensure that the ports sector is working as required. We shall need the media to play its role so that, together, we can shore up economic growth.”
Jime also spoke on the status of the many dry ports across the country and expressed the hope that they would soon be completed and put to use.
“Our goal is to make Nigeria the maritime hub of Africa. To do that, our sea ports must be in good shape. Lekki Deep Seaport will soon come on stream and give us a massive boost.
“All of these efforts must be supported by everyone and the media’s role can never be over emphasised,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Ephraims Sheyin, Head of Lagos Operations and leader of the NAN delegation, had called for closer working relationship with the NSC toward broadening Nigeria’s economic horizon.
He said that the NSC was very crucial to the nation’s quest to diversify its economy, noting that an efficient maritime industry would shore up economic growth and reduce dependence on oil revenues.
Sheyin noted that the Federal Government had continued to invest heavily in the maritime industry, hence the need to keep Nigerians abreast on developments in that critical sector.
“As elections draw nearer, Nigerians will be anxious to hear what government has achieved in all sectors. One sector many are concerned about is the maritime industry.
“NAN is prepared to publicise the achievements and challenges of the sector so as to answer those questions and assure Nigerians that government is working.
“As a federal government agency, we need to highlight government’s efforts. The ultimate goal is to form a partnership that will benefit Nigeria and Nigerians.
“In NAN, we believe that such synergy is necessary to promote the quest to develop alternative revenue sources, create jobs and widen our economic frontiers,” he said.
Also in the NAN team were Mr Abdulfatai Babatunde, Head, Lagos Newsroom, and Mr Wale Ojetimi, Head, Metro Desk. (NAN)