The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has provided secured ports for the conduct of maritime and economic activities as part of efforts to achieve a 100 per cent compliance to the international port facilities standard.
NIMASA Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside who stated this at the opening of a five-day training programme organised by the Agency and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Lagos said the organization has increased its compliance level among International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code applicable facilities while its officers have guided compliance and boost awareness levels in the maritime security environment.
Peterside, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Service, Mr Gambo Ahmed, said that the training would acquaint participants on best practices in the maritime sector administration.
“We do not wish to rest on our laurels as the zeal to acquire 100 per cent compliance in all port facilities can only be achieved if the officers are technically equipped and updated on international standards required for ISPS Code implementation,’’ Peterside said.
He stated that the giant strides achieved in ISPS Code implementation in Nigeria and the support of the IMO had played an integral role in achieving this feat.
In his address, the NIMASA Executive Director of Operations, Mr Rotimi Fashakin, said that the training was a direct outcome of the IMO Need Assessment conducted in January 2016. Fashakin said that between that time and now, a high standard of implementation of ISPS code was observed and commenced by the agency.
He said that NIMASA has already achieved 90 per cent compliance levels among ISPS applicable port facilities in Nigeria.
”When consideration is taken, we speak here of 123 port facilities and one may begin to appreciate our achievement under very tight budgetary condition. “To sustain the positive trajectory of the process, the IMO recommends additional training for key NIMASA personnel and stakeholders in the implementation of the provisions of the code.
“As experts in the ISPS Code, most of us are undoubtedly aware that the philosophy of the code is not merely the establishment of common security standard for ships and port facilities around the world.
“The entertainment of a system that is self-sustaining and self-examined is part of it. “This is the idea behind the regular drill and exercise that are mandatory for ships and ports facilities with a view to testing the integrity of the system,’’ Fashakin said.
The Lead Consultant of IMO, Mr Brian Cranmer, commended NIMASA for its great achievements on ISPS compliance, saying that there was no country under IMO that was 100 per cent compliant.
He therefore advised Nigeria not to relent in the implementation of ISPS code. “The aim of the workshop is to equip participants with the necessary skill and knowledge in planning and execution of maritime security drill and exercise.
“Threats and terrorism are part of the risk faced by the transport and shipping Industry. “ISPS Code is a sound sense and a good business approach to reduce terrorism,’’ Cranmer said.