By Chinonye Anyatonwu.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has announced an increase of 43.6% in condition survey for Flag Registration by the Agency in year 2021 as against the performance in year 2020.
NIMASA also recorded an improved Port State Control (PSC) implementation in year 2021 with 24.2% higher than the PSC inspections of year 2020.
He disclosed this during a media parley held at the agency head office recently in Lagos, noting that despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Agency ensured improved Port and Flag State Administration in accordance with the safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
According to Jamoh, in the year 2021,the agency carried out condition survey of vessels under Flag Registration for 276 vessels, the figure increased to 489, representing a 43.6% improvement.
Port State Control implementation by NIMASA in year 2021 was assessed onboard 673 vessels which was a marked improvement on the 510 Vessels Boarded for Port State inspection in year 2020 representing a 24.2% increment.
He disclosed also that the Agency reactivated the online portal for stakeholders to verify Nigerian Certificate(s) of Competency CoC from any part of the world.
“The online certificate verification platform was reactivated last year to reduce falsification of Nigerian Seafarers Certificate and enhance the employment of Nigerian Seafarers.
In his words, “we experienced rejection of Nigerian Seafarers both locally and internationally and the Agency decided to introduce the online certificate verification platform which allows shipowners to easily authenticate CoC’s from the comfort of their electronic devices.” Jamoh stated.
On the percentage of failures recorded for Nigerian seafarers who sat for the Certificate of Competency examination last year, Dr Jamoh revealed that out of eight hundred and twenty nine (829) cadre officers sat for the exam, only two hundred and sixty four (264) cadre of 32% passed, while a total of five hundred and sixty five(565) officer cadre amounting to 68% failed the exams.
The Agency has commenced investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the trend with a view to addressing it holistically.
In year 2021, NIMASA signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU with the Maritime Transport Coordination Center (MTCC), for capacity development to address the need for reduction of Green House Gas emission in the maritime industry with emphasis on achieving 0.5% Sulphur Oxide in Bunker fuel. “our laboratory is already completed and we hope to enter a public private partnership arrangement this year to manage the laboratory for optimal utilization.
The Agency also carried out 20 marine accident investigations in 2021, as against 18 in the year 2020, while also enforcing safety regulations on barges and tug boats under the code name; Operation Sting Ray.
The NIMASA helmsman revealed further that the Agency took delivery of more Deep Blue Project Assets, which was flagged-off by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that some of these assets have been deployed to the Nigerian Navy for its operational use.
According to him, “the Agency is collaborating with major international stakeholders in the maritime sector in other to entrench coordinated response to piracy and other criminalities on the Nigerian waters and prompt reportage and escalation of marine incidences to where action is most expected and to provide navigational advisory to mariners”, Jamoh added.
Dr Jamoh also disclosed that the Deep Blue Project is enjoying international support as the Korean Government has donated a vessel to support the project. He also disclosed that the Regional Maritime Awareness Center (RMAC), is being upgraded to SEA VISION to allow for monitoring of vessels along West and Central Central Africa Region.
In a related development, the NIMASA DG also hinted that the Agency’s contribution to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government, increased from figures hovering around 31 billion in 2020 to about 37 billion in year 2021.
Concerning staff welfare, NIMASA DG assured the agency of the newly introduced salary structure, saying that the agency has completed the process and it is at the final stage with the Presidential Committee at the Federal Ministry of Finance, and very soon, the staff will begin to enjoy salary increment.
He further assured that in 2022, the Agency would consolidate on the gains of the past years, with improved collaboration with all stakeholders in the industry, aimed at utilizing ocean-based resources for the good of the Nigerian economy.
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