The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has topped the chart on Port and Flag State Control in the West and Central Africa Sub-Region, latest report by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for West and Central Africa Region has revealed.
Otherwise known as Abuja MoU, the accord is the apex regional treaty on port control.
The report showed that NIMASA outstripped other maritime regulators in the region in the inspection of vessels calling at Nigeria’s ports,
NIMASA in a statement said the achievement was as a result of its continued pursuit of its mission of staying ahead of the game in maritime administration,
Speaking on the feat, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the achievement was part of the fruits of recent reforms initiated by the agency and deliberate investment in enforcement equipment.
“In NIMASA, we are conscious of global best practices and determined to rid our waterways of all substandard vessels, with the ultimate aim of ensuring a safe and robust maritime domain. This will afford us the capacity to be a competitive player in the global maritime space, giving us an edge in the comity of maritime investment destinations,” Dakuku said.
The Abuja MoU, led by the Secretary-General, Mrs. Mfon Usoro, stated in the report that Nigeria dominated in detailed inspection of vessels, with 13 exercises out of the total 14 carried out in the continent in 2018. The report commended the country’s enforcement drive.
It showed a significant rise in recorded deficiencies across the continent, as 727 vessel deficiencies were recorded in 2018 as against 587 in 2017. This was attributed to increased enforcement exercises across the various regions, with Nigeria in the lead with 339 deficiencies.
Usoro, said an analysis of the MoU’s performance between 2010 and 2018 indicated an unbroken incremental improvement by member-nations’ administrations of the MoU in every aspect of Port State Control (PSC).
She said it was an evidence of commitment by member-states to rid their waters of substandard ships, improve the standard of welfare of shipboard officers and crew, and stem the pollution of the region’s waters.
Dakuku, pointed out that the record posted by Nigeria was the result of recent transformational initiatives introduced by NIMASA, Abuja MoU’s administrator in Nigeria, and the availability of vessels for officers to carry out their enforcement duties.
While assuring the shipping community of the maximum support of NIMASA, he stated, “We will remain unwavering in our commitment to safety and innovation in line with global best standards, despite the challenges.
“The agency has no intention of taking anyone out of business; rather we are here to assist ship operators by creating a conducive environment.”
He emphasised that the agency would not fail to clamp down on erring operators, “to safeguard the country’s maritime environment for the good of all.”
Signatories to the MoU are Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Mauritania, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea Bissau, The Gambia, and Togo.