Peterside: Maritime Security Requires Planning

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Eromosele Abiodun

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that ensuring adequate security in the maritime industry requires a careful planning and stringent implementation.

The DG stated this during the closing ceremony of a of a five-day training programme tagged, “Train the trainer,” facilitated by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in conjunction with NIMASA on ISPS code compliance in Lagos.

Peterside added that the agency is very committed to improving the fortunes of Nigeria by creating an enabling environment for a business friendly and secured environment for Stakeholders in the industry and the country at large, hence the need for the train the trainer initiative.

The NIMASA boss, who acknowledged the International Co-operation Unit of the IMO, disclosed that the training was predicated on the premise that a fact finding team was in Nigerian earlier in the year to conduct a needs assessment where a number of gaps were identified. This, according to the DG, necessitated the training, with a view to addressing some of the gaps identified.

“I guess that in the course of this exercise, we have learned that good security requires planning and stringent implementation. I know that in the course of this training, the seed of co-operation and collaboration between NIMASA as Designated Authority (DA) for ISPS Code Implementation in Nigeria, our sister government Agencies such as Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and the Federal Ministry of Transportation has been planted. My expectation and desire of the leadership of these Agencies is that it will grow and blossom…In a tripartite series of planned training programmes is expected to culminate with the lead auditors training, which will place you the drivers of the system at the cutting edge of professionalism in ISPS code implementation,” he said.

While also thanking the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi for his support and enduring commitment to the imperatives of NIMASA’s DA status and indeed all matters pertaining to the maritime industry in Nigeria, he charged the participants to bring to bear the knowledge acquired during the five days training programme, noting that this will enhance the security at the nation’s ports.

Firstnation Airways Restates September 15 Flight Resumption Date

Firstnation Airways has said that barring any last minute hitch, it would commence flight operations on September 15, 2016 as scheduled by the management of the airline. It said that the major challenge the industry has is the difficulty in accessing forex, which has led to unpredictability and uncertainty in a sector that is defined by accurate planning and timing.

Director of Flight Operations of the airline, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu said Firstnation Airways’ inability to source for foreign exchange with the ever changing Central Bank of Nigeria policies and rate of exchange, makes it difficult for the airline to carry out aircraft maintenance and acquisition of aircraft spares when needed.

Earlier, the airline in an online statement had said that it suspended flight operations, because it was carrying out maintenance on A319 fleet and that this maintenance exercise will be completed on or before September 15, 2016.

“The airline planned these maintenance action well ahead, notified passengers and flights are currently loaded online effective September 15, 2016 – this will ensure that passengers continue to en joy safe and reliable service that the airline is reputed for. Current foreign exchange constraint, coupled with over 70 percent devaluation of Naira partly contributed in no small measure to this development. The Airline’s plan remains on track to reinstating service as advised herein,” the statement reads in part.

Imediegwu told journalists that the airline would resume operations barring any last minute hitch on September 15, 2016.

He said that the challenges of sourcing foreign exchange with constantly changing Central Bank of Nigeria policies and Rate of Exchange (ROE) leaves the airline sometimes in situations where aircraft parts cannot be obtained when ordered due to banks’ inability to transfer funds based on bids and maintenance schedules programmed with external Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) providers suffers the repeated failures of the bidding system.

Imediegwu further explained that the disruption these forex transfer issues cause are better imagined, adding to reduce this disruptions operator are sometimes compelled to source forex from the parallel market at cut throat rate, even though the sum required are mostly in hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Director of Flight Operations stated that having contended with these challenges, the airline planned well ahead and kept the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) informed of the progress of the maintenance of its aircraft.

According to him, “We actually had just received one of them from a heavy maintenance early this year while preparing for the departure of the next for maintenance, the one that came back from checks developed fault. This called for immediate action with the manufacturer’s specialists. We arrived at a decision to get them to come in and do a final job on it. The authority was constantly kept in the know, formally. In order to remain within the triple SSS; Safety Schedule and Service boundary ,effectively regulating ourselves, Firstnation voluntarily grounded these aircraft even though at enormous cost to await the arrival of the manufacturer’s team,” he disclosed.

IATA Counsels States on Voluntary Implementation of Carbon Agreement

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expressed optimism for an agreement on a Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) when governments meet for the 39th Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organisation later this month.
The draft negotiating text for CORSIA, published on September, 2, 2016, broadly aligns with the aviation industry’s call for a mandatory global carbon offset scheme as a tool to help manage the industry’s emissions as it pursues its goal of carbon-neutral growth. Instead of being mandatory from the start, however, the draft text defines a voluntary “pilot and implementation” period (2021-2027) after which participation would be mandatory for all eligible States (2027 onwards).

“I am optimistic that we are on the brink of a historic agreement—a first for an industry sector at the global level. The aviation industry would have preferred a more ambitious timeline than is currently outlined in the draft text. However, what is most important is that the substance of the negotiating text will allow for meaningful management of aviation’s carbon footprint. Airlines support it and urge governments to agree when they meet at ICAO,” said IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.

IATA encourages governments to commit to their voluntary participation as soon as possible. “Last year’s much lauded Paris climate change agreement was a combination of voluntary measures to which the vast majority of countries have already committed themselves. We expect no less of an outcome from the ICAO Assembly. The industry is ready. There is really no reason for governments not to volunteer. Indeed, the United States, China, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, the Marshall Islands, and 44 European countries have already indicated their willingness to participate. Now is the time for other states to match their political leadership, by coming to the Assembly already committed to participate, even if the scheme is voluntary at the initial stage,” said de Juniac.

“Airlines are committed to environmental responsibility. But achieving it requires a partnership with governments. That is clear in the development of a global market-based measure such as CORSIA. And it is the same for day-to-day operations. Airlines are investing heavily in new technology, the development of sustainable alternative fuels and operational efficiency. Our message to the states attending the ICAO Assembly is that they must match our efforts. This is particularly the case with investments to modernize air navigation infrastructure which will bring cost-efficiency benefits along with improved environmental performance. Similarly, government incentives to commercialise sustainable alternative fuels are critical to unlocking their environmental benefits with increased production capacity and lower costs,” said de Juniac.

ICAO is the United Nations body charged with managing aviation’s climate change impact because of the complexity of emissions from any one flight, which might occur over several countries and the high seas. As such, international aviation is not included in the agreement reached by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015.

ICAO was mandated by its 191 contracting states at its 38th Assembly (2013) to present a proposal for a global market based measure to manage aviation’s carbon footprint at its 39th Assembly. That proposal is the Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA).

In June 2016, an overwhelming majority of IATA member airlines reiterated their desire to see a single, global and mandatory carbon offset scheme be implemented from 2020.