The DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir JAMOH answering questions at the media parley.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The activities of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency under its Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh is under the spotlight as he took his place at the helms of affairs at the agency after the expiration of the tenure of the former DG, Dakuku Peterside two years ago. The agency which has the improvement of the port and flag state functions which are the core maritime safety as its mandate has seen some remarkable performances in some areas of this mandate.
In the area of Port State Inspection (PSI), the year 2017 had 525, 2018 had 659 with a 38% increase, 2019 had 725 recording 10% increasing over the year 2018 figure, but the covid-19 pandemic influenced the figures of the year 2020 as the year recorded 510 of the 5,035 vessels calls with a -29.65% decrease over the preceding year.
The Flag State Inspections representing the State Renewal Inspections for the year 2018 is 1,737, 2019 is 2,580 representing 2,123 renewal Inspections, 276 condition survey and 181 Random Flag State Surveys with a 49% increase over the figures of the year 2018, 2020 has a figure of 2,244 with a -13% decrease and this can also be attributed to the effect of the covid-19 pandemic.
There were certain unfortunate incidents of marine accidents though as the recorded figure for year 2018 is 21 with the figure of 2019 reads 22 incidents of marine accidents with investigation on some of the incidents still ongoing.
The Agency over time has taken certain steps to mitigate the effects of maritime insecurity with the sponsored passage of the Suppression of Piracy and other maritime offences bill, the establishment of the integrated national maritime surveillance and security infrastructure, the ISPFS (code) implementation among other measures like alliances, cooperation and collaboration with national and international authorities for improved maritime safety and efficient port operations. The launch of the Deep Blue Project, a project which has the endorsement of the president of Nigeria on the 11th of May, 2021 has been a big boost in the capacity of the Agency as well as its capability to handle security matters with the willing cooperation of all the major security arms of the federal government deeply involved in the project. Thus, this project is generally seen as contributing to the forestalling of insecurity and enhancing security. The Agency provided certain equipment such as two special vessels, seventeen fast interceptor boats, two unmanned aerial vehicles and sixteen armoured vehicles for the Deep Blue Project and these have since been readily deployed to the Nigerian Navy and effectively working. There are also various cooperation agreements with regional and international maritime authorities to provide security and drastically curb piracy around the nation’s maritime areas.
In the area of the Human Capital Development, NIMASA has continued its statutory contributions to the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron and the NSDP, the Agency has continued its training programme for seafarers with 2,600 Nigerian seafarers trained in different countries of the world, secured the placement of over 400 cadets onboard ships for the mandatory seat-time training for the global relevance of these cadets and also including the training of some of its staff at the World Maritime University.
NIMASA has also contributed over the past few years in the area of shipping capacity development by procuring the 5th largest modular floating dockyard in Africa to reduce the cost of ship repairs and maintenance and this is funded through the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF), launched the fiscal and monetary policy initiatives plus many other policy initiatives geared towards the general greater development of the shipping industry.
NIMASA FLOATING DOCKYARD.
The Agency has also received certain commendations from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the special interventions in the areas of declaring seafarers as key workers and the initiative of helping workers to move during the covid-19 pandemic, their roles on CSR to support the federal and state governments, donation of thirty million (#30,000,000.00) to the federal government and twenty million (#20,000,000.00) to the Lagos State Government and the development of the Agency’s fire service.
R-L: Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal JMD Gwani; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Honorable Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; and Country Director, HLSI Nigeria, Tal Spekto inspecting one of the Aerial Assets during the graduation ceremony of air assets trainees of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue project at the Air Force Base Hanger 301, Heavy Lift Group, Ikeja, on Friday
R-L: Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Chief of Training and Operations, Air Vice Marshal JMD Gwani; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Honorable Lucky Aiyedatiwa; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; and Country Director, HLSI Nigeria, Tal Spekto inspecting one of the Aerial Assets during the graduation ceremony of air assets trainees of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue project at the Air Force Base Hanger 301, Heavy Lift Group, Ikeja.
As part of the maritime safety measures, the Agency has employed the Flag State Implementation (FSO) which causes vessels to be inspected and surveyed in accordance with the safety requirements of the MSA of 2007. In relation, the number of vessels surveyed for the flag registration relative to 2020 in 2021 is 488 which represents 43.6% increase over 2020 figure with 276 vessels surveyed. They also boarded a total of 673 vessels in 2021 which is 24.2% higher than that of 2020 which is 510 for the port state implementation duty.
The record also shows that a lot of officers and ratings were trained over the past two years with a total of 829 examinations conducted for the officers having 264 certificated officers and 565 officers failing the exams in 2021 while the figures of 2020 shows that 610 examinations took place and 251 certificated and 359 officers failed. The figure for the ratings trained for 2021 is 1,251 examinations with 926 certificated after passing the exams while 325 failed, this is against the figure for 2020 reading 1,327 trained, having 990 passing and certificated while 337 failed. There is also the online seafarers Certificate of Competency verification platform that was reactivated and this has reduced the forgery of Nigerian Certificates and also enhanced the employability of seafarers. The enforcement of safety regulations on barges and tug boats as well as the ISO9001 quality assurance certification, the revival of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety (GMDSS) equipment and others have all been achieved.
In order to promote the Maritime Pollution Prevention and Control, NIMASA has created awareness, established a fuel bunker supply register, accredited laboratories for the testing of bunker oil, built capacity on emission reduction and the establishment of the Compliance monitoring and Enforcement Team.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has apparently been doing a lot in terms of playing its core role for safety in Nigeria’s maritime areas what with the over 830 kilometers of coastal waters and 200 nautical miles of extended ocean space to secure, the task is huge and particularly challenging, but like the DG, Dr. Jamoh of the Agency once said, with the right equipment and conditions as well as the commitment of all personnel, the task is always achievable.
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