The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, revealed that the ongoing reforms in the state and flag state administration of the country earned the country its recent exit from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). listing.
Furthermore, he noted that his transformative leadership effort was changing the narrative of safe navigation on Nigerian waters, just as he announced a 43.6% increase in the state survey for l flag registration by the agency in 2021 compared to performance in 2020.
Jamoh, made the disclosure during an interactive session with the media in Lagos, noting that despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency has ensured the improvement of the administration of the port state. and flag in accordance with the safety requirements of the Shipping Act 2007.
He commended NIMASA for entering the era of programming ships for port state control, using digital means, saying the agency’s inspector certifications must improve the function of the port state control. port and flag state and ensure greater compliance with the international convention for Nigeria.
Jamoh announced a 43.6% increase in the agency’s flag registration status survey in 2021 compared to 2020 performance, further explaining that the agency also recorded an improvement in Port State Control (PSC) implementation this year with 24.2% more than 2020 PSC inspections.
A breakdown of the figures shows that in 2020 the agency carried out a survey of the condition of flag-registered vessels for 276 vessels, while in 2021 the figure rose to 489, representing an improvement of 43 .6%.
“NIMASA’s Port State Control implementation in 2021 was assessed on board 673 vessels, which is a marked improvement from the 510 vessels embarked for Port State Inspection in 2020, which represents an increase of 24.2%,” he noted.
Jamoh revealed that the agency has reactivated the online portal for stakeholders to verify the Nigerian CoC Competency Certificate(s) from any part of the world.
Said Jamoh, “The online certificate verification platform was reactivated last year to reduce the falsification of Nigerian seafarers’ certificate and improve the employment of Nigerian seafarers.
“We have experienced rejection from Nigerian seafarers both locally and internationally and the Agency has decided to introduce an online certificate verification platform which allows shipowners to easily authenticate CoCs from the comfort of their electronic devices.
While expressing concern over the percentage of failures recorded for Nigerian seafarers who sat for the certificate of competency examination last year, Jamoh announced that the agency had begun an investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the tendency to address it holistically.
The NIMASA Helmsman revealed that in 2021, NIMASA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maritime Transport Coordination Center (MTCC) for capacity development to address the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse effect in the marine industry with a focus on achieving 0.5% sulfur oxide. in bunker fuel.
“Our lab is already complete and we hope to enter into a public-private partnership agreement this year to run the lab for optimal use,” he said.
He also disclosed that the agency has appointed Recognized Organizations (ROs) to endorse the Ship Security Plan (SSP) and to issue International Ship Security Certificates to Nigerian flag vessels on its behalf.
Jamoh said its leaders are fully committed to ensuring that the sector implements the reforms that will put in place the desired returns.
According to Jamoh, “the agency also conducted 20 maritime accident investigations in 2021, compared to 18 in 2020, while enforcing barge and tug safety rules under the codename; Operation Sting Ray.
NIMASA Helmsman further revealed that the agency has taken delivery of more Deep Blue project assets which were flagged by President Muhammadu Buhari adding that some of these assets have been deployed to the Nigerian Navy for its operational use.
He said the agency was also working with key international maritime stakeholders to put in place a coordinated response to piracy and other crimes in Nigerian waters.
Jamoh further noted the agency’s commitment to improving strategic collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Air Force, Police, Army and the Office of the National Security Adviser.
The move, he said, helped reduce piracy attacks off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, as there was not a single attack in Nigerian waters in the third quarter of 2021, as the reported the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
A recent statement from NIMASA’s Acting Head of Corporate Communications, Osagie Edward, revealed that NIMASA has endorsed maritime training providers to help guide Nigerian-flagged vessels and Nigerian port facilities in training their personnel. maritime security.
These training providers, according to the release, conduct training for Corporate Security Officers (CSOs), Ship Security Officers (SSOs) and Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) in accordance with ISPS Code requirements. and the IMO model.
The agency has also introduced new measures to verify security threats in the Nigerian maritime industry, as captains of ships operating in Nigeria are now required to submit security-related pre-arrival information forms. (SRPA) to the agency no later than 48 hours before the ship’s arrival. arrival at any Nigerian port. All ships must also maintain round-the-clock vigilance and surveillance for strange movements, including small boats and skiffs that may not be picked up by radar.
There is no doubt that the Nigerian maritime sector is an unrecognized gold mine with the potential to become a key driver of economic development, if empowering strategies are implemented for optimum efficiency.