The ultimatum goal of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is complete compliance to the provisions of the key codes of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.
The IMO which has its headquarters in London, United Kingdom believes that with the full execution of the ISPS Code by member states, there shall be no security breach to any person, vessel or facilities in any maritime domain across the globe.
Apparently not pleased with the present level of compliance on ISPS Code in the country, Peterside said the agency which remains the designated authority (DA) in Nigeria will not rest on its oars until it attain total compliance on the implementation of the code.
Peterside who spoke at the opening of the 5 day advanced drills and exercises workshop organised by NIMASA in conjunction with IMO for ISPS Implementation Officers stated that the agency is committed to increasing the compliance level from the present 90 percent to 100 percent.
The NIMASA helmsman who was represented at the event by the agency Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr. Gambo Ahmed said that the agency realizes the importance of capacity building towards the successful implementation of the code hence, the need for frequent training of the enforcement officers in order to acquaint them with the current rudiments of implementing the code.
His words: â€œIt is no secret that we have made giant strides in ISPS Code implementation in Nigeria. We do not wish to rest on our laurels as the zeal to acquire 100 percent compliance in all port facilities can only be achieved if the officers are technically equipped and updated on international standards required for ISPS Code Implementationâ€
He hailed the IMO for its continuous technical support to Nigeria, even as he added that the support has assisted the country in the successful implementation of the code.
â€œThe support of the IMO in providing peer review and other forms of technical support has played an integral role in assisting us as the designated authority in raising the bar of the implementation of the code. Through this support we have been able to steadily increase compliance levels amongst ISPS applicable facilities and our officers have been able to guide compliance and boost awareness levels in the maritime environmentâ€, he said.
He emphasized the agencyâ€™s commitment towards ensuring the ports and terminals are safer and more reliable to do business in line with the Federal Governmentâ€™s agenda of ease of doing business.
Also speaking, NIMASA Executive Director Operations, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin who is the line Executive Director on the implementation of the code said that with the commitment being shown by the management towards the effective implementation of the code; in no time the agency will achieve its goal of ensuring 100 percent compliance.
The IMO lead consultant, Mr. Brian Cranmer in his remarks said that he was impressed with the zeal of NIMASA towards ensuring compliance of ISPS Code in the country.
Cranmer promised IMOâ€™s continuous support to the agency and Nigeria towards the implementation of relevant IMO instruments.
THISDAY had reported that the compliance level of the ISPS Code in the country have been adjudged to be over 90 per cent from the about 13 percent it was when NIMASA took over as the DA.