ISPS Code: 31 Nigerian ports, jetties not safe ― NIMASA

THE Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has revealed that 31 ports and jetties in Nigeria are currently not yet compliant to the International Ships and Facilities Security (ISPS) code.

The ISPS Code is an international document implemented through Special measures to enhance maritime security in the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The Code is a two-part document describing minimum requirements for security of ships and ports.

Speaking during a World Press Briefing held in Lagos on Tuesday, Peterside revealed that Nigeria currently has an ISPS Code compliance level of almost 80%. According to him, “We have intensified NIMASA’s drive to ensure strict compliance with the provision of the ISPS Code.

“The result is that Nigeria now has a compliance rate of almost 80%, as 114 port facilities out of the total of 145 ports and jetties in Nigeria are now fully ISPS compliant. Let’s not forget that NIMASA was only appointed the Designated Authority for the implementation of ISPS Code in Nigeria barely 5 years ago when compliance level was barely 13%.

“Though 8% of the remaining 31 port facilities are currently pursuing compliance, our goal is to target a 100% compliance level writing the next twelve months. Our efforts have attracted commendation from the United States Coast Guard team that visited earlier this year.”

On the nation’s Cabotage Law, the NIMASA DG explained that, “Let me use this opportunity to correct the erroneous impression that Nigeria has not made progress with the Cabotage regime. A lot of progress has been made. Before the Cabotage regime came into being, less than 12% of Nigerians were onboard vessels operating in Nigerian waters.

“Today, the figures have changed drastically as over 60% of workers onboard vessels operating under the Cabotage regime are now Nigerians. It may also interest you to know that before 2003, less than 3% of vessels operating on our waters were flagged Nigerian.

“However, today we have over 60% vessels doing business in Nigerian waters flying the Nigerian flag. Another good thing about the Cabotage regime is that we have been able to achieve 20% in building Cabotage vessels from a completely foreign dominated area.

“The Nigerian Flag has also enjoyed significant growth within the past 12 months. While 262 vessels with a total Tonnage of slightly over 232,000 GRT were registered in 2015, the figures almost doubled in 2016 as 370 vessels with a total Tonnage of almost 420,000 GRT were registered within the past 12 months.”

On the forthcoming conference of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administration (AMAA), Dakuku Peterside stated that, “NIMASA, in conjunction with International  Maritime Organisation (IMO) is organising the 3rd  Conference of AMAA. This is in line with IMO policy in assisting and enhancing the capacity of maritime administrations in Africa.

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