By Oluyinka Onigbinde
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the Agency would not rest on its oars until 100% compliance of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code is achieved in all port facilities across the country.
The Director General who spoke at the opening of the 5-day Advanced Drills and Exercises Workshop organised by NIMASA in conjunction with The International Maritime Organization (IMO) for ISPS Implementation Officers stated that the Agency was committed to increasing the compliance level from the present 90% to 100%.
The DG who was represented at the event by the Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services of the Agency, Mr. Gambo Ahmed said that the Agency realized the importance of capacity building towards the successful implementation of the Code hence, the need for frequent training of the enforcement officers in order to acquaint them with the current rudiments of implementing the Code.
According to the DG, “It is no secret that we have made giant strides in ISPS Code implementation in Nigeria. We do not wish to rest on our laurels as the zeal to acquire 100% 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”.
The DG further commended the IMO for its continuous technical support to Nigeria adding that the support had assisted the country in the successful implementation of the code.
In his words “the support of the IMO in providing peer review and other forms of technical support has played an integral role in assisting us as the Designated Authority in raising the bar of the implementation of the Code. Through this support we have been able to steadily increase compliance levels amongt ISPS applicable facilities and our Officers have been able to guide compliance and boost awareness levels in the maritime environment”.
In the same vein, the Executive Director Operations of NIMASA, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin who is the line Executive Director on the implementation of the Code said that with the commitment being shown by the Management towards the effective implementation of the Code; in no time the Agency will achieve its goal of ensuring 100% compliance.
Also speaking at the event was the IMO lead consultant Mr. Brian Cranmer who said that he was impressed with the zeal of NIMASA towards ensuring compliance of ISPS Code in Nigeria; He promised IMO’s continuous support to the Agency and indeed Nigeria towards the implementation of relevant IMO instruments.
It would be recalled that the compliance level of the ISPS Code in the country had been adjudged to be over 90 per cent from the about 13 percent it was when NIMASA took over as the Designated Authority.
The Director General of the Agency has also emphasized the Agency’s commitment towards ensuring the ports and terminals are safer and more reliable to do business in line with the Federal Government’s Agenda of Ease of Doing Business.