Maritime Security: NIMASA to Sustain Partnership with Navy

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Eromosele Abiodun

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has promised that the agency will continue to partner the Nigerian Navy for the security of Nigerian waterways and the optimum exploration of the nation’s marine resources.

Peterside stated this when Naval Cadets of the 66 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) visited the agency on a study visit.

He assured the cadets that the symbiotic relationship that exists between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy is inseparable because of the functions of both agencies saying, their visit to NIMASA is auspicious as they will always have reason to interact with the Maritime Administration upon commissioning.

Peterside praised the gallantry and bravery of Officers and Ratings of the Nigerian Navy, noting that the country’s naval force is one of the best in the world for which he has eternal pride.

While appreciating the young Cadets for choosing to serve and protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria, Peterside said: “You have chosen a very noble course as brave men and women, only the brave will chose to enlist in our military. As courageous men and women, you have offered to make all forms of sacrifices first for the good of our country and for all of us your country men and women so that we can move about freely; most importantly so that the territorial integrity of our nation will be protected.”

In a related development, Peterside has restated that the NIMASA is capable of carrying out its regulatory functions and will not abdicate its mandate to anybody.

Peterside made the remark while receiving members of the National Association of Stevedoring Companies led by their President, Mr. Bolaji Sunmola at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos.

He warned that NIMASA will not abdicate its regulatory responsibility as they concern the operations of stevedoring companies and how they relate with terminal and jetty operators saying that they do not have the powers to eject stevedoring companies approved by the government to operate in their facilities.

He emphasised that “it is NIMASA’s responsibility to oversight Stevedoring functions in our ports, terminals and jetties and we will not abdicate that function to anybody. In the exercise of this function, we will interface with terminal operators and the National Association of Stevedoring Companies to make sure maritime operations are not hampered.”

Peterside also noted that the agency understands the challenges faced by Stevedoring Companies and the terminal operators noting that NIMASA will consult further with all parties to ensure that there is an amicable resolution of the issues.
The NIMASA boss highlighted the importance of Stevedoring companies to include facilitating economic growth, ensuring industrial harmony and also serving as a security shield in the ports.

He assured the delegation of the agency’s commitment to develop human capacity saying that “the Management of NIMASA has approved a comprehensive stevedoring guideline sensitization which would soon commence”.
Earlier in his address, Sunmola called on NIMASA to come to their rescue in respect of their negotiations with terminal operators as it has become a norm for Jetties and offshore/onshore operators to refuse the Federal Government appointed stevedoring contractors to operate in their premises.

Sunmola who pointed out that the appointment of stevedoring companies to these facilities was a deliberate attempt by the federal government to avoid security breaches also appealed to the agency to activate the 2014 NIMASA Stevedoring Regulations, which he thinks will go a long way in resolving the issues with the terminal operators.