Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has scored his management team high in terms of performance, stressing especially the growing recognition from national and international bodies, particularly the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Peterside who stated this while briefing newsmen at the NIMASA’s Corporate Headquarters in Lagos, identifying certain areas, including maritime safety, where the bar was specifically raised.
According to him: “Nigerian was adjudged most outstanding in Port and Flag State Control in the West and Central Africa Sub-Region by the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The country had the highest port state inspection in Abuja MOU.
“Nigeria conducted more Certificate of Competency examinations.
“The country inaugurated Search and Rescue volunteers in 10 coastal states.
“Development and implementation of Biometric data for non-conventional vessels and small boats
“Automation of process of issuance of Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) and call Sign”, Dr. Peterside stated, pointing out that from the several reports emanating from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a good separation and distinction had been made, differentiating piracy, from sea robbery.
“Piracy refers to attacks in international waters, while sea robbery happens in territorial waters and, thus, under the littoral state’s jurisdiction”, he explained, while also identifying model innovations recently achieved in the Area of billings.
“The introduction of the Final Billing system has put to rest the issues of double billing and over/under billing with the creation of a platform for dispute resolution. The system ensures appropriate closure on all vessel transactions within a period of two weeks after departure. This has led to improved customer satisfaction.
“Equally, we have made major strides in the drive for improved maritime domain awareness. With the use of satellite surveillance technologies, in combination with intelligence systems, we are able to identify, with a consistent 365 days and a five-year profile, all vessels that visit our Exclusive Economic Zone. We are further able to identify vessels that are believed to be engaging in suspicious activities and take appropriate actions.
“Also last year, we facilitated the participation of indigenous operators at international maritime expos and Trade Fairs creating the much needed link between the local operators and their foreign counterparts.
“The aim was to move from opportunities to realities. A remarkable success story in this regard is the facilitation of the match-making of indigenous operators with foreign partners for various international engagements.
“Currently, a portal is being created on the Agency’s website where the list of all categories of maritime operators and services provided would be hosted for match-making and direct contact by business interests around the world. This brings visibility and credibility to indigenous operators being projected by the Maritime Administration in Nigeria.
“Equally, we have secured the buy-in of some state Governments into the public sector cargo support initiative of the Agency. Extending engagements on maritime with other state governors”, Dakuku highlighted further, even as he spoke of milestone achievements in the Area of building local capacity and ensuring Nigeria develops a competitive edge, amongst its peers, within the African continent.