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NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks on Submarine Cable Regulation in Nigeria

<strong>NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks on Submarine Cable Regulation in Nigeria</strong>

* Partner MWUN on maritime labour

The Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders as NIMASA inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.

Officials of both organs of government reached the agreement in Lagos at a pre audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.

The Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.

This is as NIMASA and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), have restated their commitment to continuous stakeholder’s engagement as an effective tool to maintain the peace which the nation’s maritime sector have enjoyed in recent years.

Jamoh and the President General of NWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju both made the assertion in Lagos at a ceremony  by NIMASA to hand over vehicles to the Union as part of the Agency’s Corporate Social Responsibility. The vehicles are a 16-seater bus and one Hilux.

Spwaking at the pre-audit meting with NCC, Jamoh said, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid. NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation. We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency starts. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this.”

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.

Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.

Meanwhile, Jamoh applauded NWUN for adopting dialogue in ensuring and maintaining peace in the maritime sector, which he said has aided the peace and industrial harmony witnessed in the sector leading to the successes recorded.

He said,  “In the past few years, the maritime industry has experienced relative peace and harmony, which has been made possible through the instrumentality of the leadership of MWUN. NIMASA is committed to ensuring the union is equipped with adequate facilities needed to perform their duties judiciously.”

Speaking, Adeyanju expressed the gratitude of the union to the Management of NIMASA, and assured that they will continue to work closely with the various stakeholders in the sector to ensure continuous progress. He also urged Terminal Operators, Government Agencies and other major maritime players to emulate NIMASA in the discharge of their CSR Projects.

The MWUN President General who is also the National Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress commended the leadership of NIMASA under Dr Jamoh urging the Federal Government to consider a second tenure based on performance.

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