The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has disclosed that the Agency is determined to ensure total compliance with the International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS) Code in all ports, terminals and jetties in Nigeria.
He said this was in furtherance to the agency’s commitment to ensure safety and security on the nation’s territorial ways, and in line with global best practices,
The Director General, who made this disclosure in Lagos when a delegation of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) led by Commander Thomas Foster came on an assessment visit of Nigerian ports and terminals across the country, described the USCG as the most valued partner in ensuring that our ports are safe for business.
He also reiterated that Nigeria places high premium on issues that border on security and as such, NIMASA as the Designated Authority (DA) for the ISPS Code implementation is leaving no stone unturned to achieve 100 per cent implementation of the ISPS Code in Nigeria. This he said will guarantee the safety of the vessels calling or leaving our ports.
“There is absolutely no doubt that we are determined to get it right; we only need support, assistance and all the encouragement we can get. We are determined to work with the United States Coast Guard to get it right in order to ensure our ports are safe.
Let me also reiterate that as a country, we appreciate the importance of getting security right at our ports, jetties and terminals and that we are committed to it”, the DG said.
He also used the opportunity to appeal to the USCG to continue to render necessary assistance to NIMASA, noting that the Agency is open to support and partnership from them.
In his remarks, the leader of the delegation of the United States Coast Guard, Commander Thomas Foster commended NIMASA for its strides in ensuring safety at the ports and expressed satisfaction with the infrastructural development as regarding ISPS Code implementation in the ports visited in Lagos.
In his words, “It appears that the energy that NIMASA has at the ports is very tremendous, as seen in all the ports visited in Lagos. The level of compliance has tremendously improved compared to our last visit. I therefore assure NIMASA that we will continue to work closely to achieve a safer ports, jetties and terminals in Nigeria”.
The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life and Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. Having come into force in 2004, it prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.
Recall that NIMASA was appointed the Designated Authority for the implementation of the ISPS Code in Nigeria in May, 2013 and has since been unrelenting in raising the banner of the country high amongst the comity of maritime nations, especially in the area of safety and security.
NIMASA is the government body that regulates and promotes shipping activities in Nigeria. It must also be stated that the Dr. Peterside led Management has embarked on so many developmental initiatives through various Stakeholders engagement and collaborative efforts towards making Nigeria a hub of maritime activities in Africa.