Jamoh urges standardised digital communication for effective port, flag administration

  • Dr Bashir Jamoh making a presentation during the launch of Denmark’s first commercial satellite, Sternula-1, in Aalborg

By Anthony Nwachukwu

Maritime administrations across the world and all stakeholders in the maritime sector need collaboration on standardised digitalisation in order to achieve effective communication, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA0, Dr Bashir Jamoh, has said.

Jamoh, who stated this in his presentation during Denmark’s launch of its first commercial satellite, Sternula-1, in Aalborg, said it was in line with provisions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

He disclosed that NIMASA was participating in the testing stage of an international satellite system that would improve communication channels for vessels at sea as part of its current management’s quest to ensure that global best practices are adopted in the Nigerian maritime sector.

According to him, IMO set the requirements for e-Navigation strategy implementation plan while the IALA develops the technical solutions such as AIS as part of measures to ease and promote digital communication in the maritime industry.

“Ultimately, seaborne transport depends on a secure and trustworthy flow of information. In this new reality, access to quality data is essential for ship managers to make decisions, act on market opportunities and meet new requirements,” a statement by the NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Osagie Edward, quoted him to say.

“A well digitalised system leads to faster access to information, improved customer experience, increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved decision making, improved information security, higher mobility, and automation of business processes, among others.”

He further held that in the port sector, dgitalisation is the foundation of smart ports and digital twins – both technological tools and solutions that can transform real-time data into accurate and more precise business decisions, rendering port operations extremely effective by interconnecting all sectors of the maritime supply chain.

While noting that digitalisation transforms organisations from reactive to being proactive in safety and safety reporting, he stressed that massive untapped potentials exist for the shipping industry to improve its operational efficiency through harnessing ship-to-shore data flows that can positively impact commercial, environmental and safety performance reporting processes.

NIMASA had in the 2022 Q3 signed a letter-of-intent with the Danish telecoms company, Sternula, on participation in the Worldwide AIS 2.0 Demo Project that will allow for early testing of digital services over the satellite-based AIS 2.0 at the beginning of 2023.

Sternula-1 and the built-in AIS 2.0 technology, also called VDES, is a new communication solution to implementing a global e-Navigation strategy. AIS 2.0 is an extension to AIS, adding two-way data channels over VHF by using special satellite channels, which means that every ship with a VHF antenna will be able to communicate globally.

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