The Port of Antwerp and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have agreed to a partnership to increase trade and investment.
Speaking at a meeting to agree the deal, NIMASA Director-General Dr Dakuku Peterside said the Port of Antwerp had a long-standing relationship with the ports community in Lagos, Nigeria’s capital.
“We have always had a business relationship with the port of Antwerp either as destination ports or ports of origin,” he said.
“Our position is straight forward and clear; we welcome the business mission with our doors open and believe there is a lot we can do together.”
The announcement is the first part of an effort to increase ties between the Belgian and Nigerian port communities, with Antwerp due to follow up with a business mission in November 2019.
“Therefore, in November,” Peterside continued, “we will have the opportunity of setting up business to business meetings; we have a number of Nigeria businesses that are interested in doing business with operators in Belgium, precisely in the ports of Antwerp.
As well as improving business ties NIMASA also hopes the deepening relationship will help improve safety and anti-piracy standards in the region.
In its statement, it says it has already put in place a series of strategies, including a legal framework on piracy and maritime crime, and that it will continue to work with its neighbors.
The Gulf of Guinea, off Nigeria’s coast, is the most dangerous region in the world for commercial shipping.