Peterside urges customer-focused service, as boat operators seek Cabotage funding

By Chidubem Anthony

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakukuk Peterside, has stressed the need for customer-focused business transactions since “businesses exist because of the customers.”

   Speaking in Lagos during the Customer Service Week 2018 tagged, “Excellence Happens Here,” Peterside, who was represented by the Head of Legal Services, Mrs. Aishatu Jidda, noted that “customers have to be retained to sustain the business.”

   According to him, “the relationship is maintained by providing quality or excellent service at all times, because customers will only expend their hard-earned resources on satisfaction they derive from what they buy.”

   He explained that the Customer Consultative Forum (CCF), which was instituted in NIMASA through Service Compact with all Nigerians (SERVICOM), has facilitated discussions on the highlights, constraints and successes of businesses and organisations in their interface with the agency’s regulatory role.

   On his part, Head of the NIMASA unit of SERVICOM, Mr. Abiodun Olusegun, said the agency highly regards robust engagement with stakeholders in its regulatory and promotional activities.

   He urged boat operators under the Lagos District of the Commercial Private Boat Operators to always contact the agency’s SERVICOM office for intervention on issues affecting their operations.

   Meanwhile, in view of the high cost of boats and boat anchors, outboard motor engines and standard life jackets, among others, the association has appealed to NIMSA to cushion their operational challenges with the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).

   Mindful that the CVFF is designated for indigenous ship owners, representative of the President General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Abdul Erodje, urged NIMASA to plough “a small percentage of the CVFF” to the sector to enhance waterways transportation in Lagos State and nationwide.

   According to Erodje, who is also a member of the association, this will solve some of their challenges and serve as NIMASA’s local content development, and “with proper management, will enable local operators to acquire standard boats to provide internationally accepted inland waterways transportation services.”

   The group also requested NIMASA to establish and train search and rescue volunteer groups, and partner relevant stakeholders on registration, training and certification of members on power-driven small crafts, ferries and pleasure boats to generate a pool of well-trained, good-to-employ workforce.

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