Nigeria restates commitment to safety standards in maritime

L-R: Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the International Maritime Organisation, Mr Dikko Bala; Head, Africa Section, Technical Cooperation Division, IMO, Mr Williams Azu; Hon. Minister of Transportation and Vice Chairman, Abuja MoU, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, (CFR) Secretary General, Abuja MoU, Mrs Mfon Ekong Usoro and the Ag Director General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Baba Jauro at the opening ceremony of the Regional Training Course on Port State Control, in Lagos 
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi has restated Nigeria’s commitment to ensure safety standards in the nation’s maritime sector.

The Minster who stated this in his address at the regional training on Ports State Control (PSC) for West and Central Africa in Lagos, said that because merchant ships often traded outside the areas that under the jurisdiction of the Flag State, maritime agencies cannot therefore guarantee that all ships under their flag are in full compliance with safety requirements.
Accordingly, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) mandates maritime administrations to periodically carryout port state control in compliance with the instruments to which the Flag State is a party.
 Amaechi said that the high level of maritime activities in the waters impose enormous challenges to coastal countries in the West and Central Africa in terms of building a robust and effective maritime safety regime.
According to him, the need to therefore continually update the knowledge of vessel inspectors and surveyors cannot be overstated especially against the backdrop of rapid changes at both the industry and operating environment levels.
He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to repositioning the maritime sector for effectiveness and efficiency and also assured member states of Nigeria’s co-operation for a better Port State Control implementation in Africa.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Mr Haruna Baba Jauro, while assuring member states of the Agency’s resolve for the effective implementation of Ports State Control in the sector, said NIMASA remained committed to human capacity development and that the training would be a continuous process geared towards the development of the sector and the nation at large.
“The Agency will continue to build the required capacity to meet domestic and international obligations aimed at making our waterways safe for shipping activities” the Acting DG said.
It will be recalled that the NIMASA Act empowers the Agency to carryout occasional ports state inspection on foreign vessels that call at the nation’s ports.

The eight day training which is being hosted by NIMASA has in attendance representatives from the 19 member states of the Abuja MoU with resource persons drawn from the International Maritime Organisation.