NIMASA tops chart in port, flag state control

IN the continued pursuit of its mission of staying ahead of the game in maritime administration, 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.

NIMASA outranked other maritime regulators in the region in the inspection of vessels calling at Nigeria’s ports, according to the latest report by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control for West and Central Africa Region, otherwise known as Abuja MoU. Abuja MoU is the apex regional treaty on port control.

Speaking on the feat, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, said it was part of the fruits of recent reforms initiated by the Agency and deliberate investment in enforcement equipment.

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“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.

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.