- Partners MTCC against Green House Gas emission
By Anthony Nwachukwu
To shore up maritime security, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) increased its conditional survey of flag registration by 43.6 per cent in 2021, the agency’s Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has said.
The agency also recorded an improved Port State Control (PSC) implementation in 2021, with a 24.2 per cent higher inspections compared to 2020, Jamoh told newsmen during a media interactive session in Lagos.
He noted that in spite of the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the agency ensured improved port and flag state administration in accordance with the safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
According to him, in 2020, NIMASA carried out conditional survey of vessels under Flag Registration for 276 vessels, while it was 489 (43.6 per cent increase) in 2021.
Port State Control implementation was assessed onboard 673 vessels in 2021, a 24.2 per cent improvement on the 510 vessels boarded for port state inspection in 2020.
Meanwhile, the agency said it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Maritime Transport Coordination Center (MTCC) for capacity development, towards reducing Green House Gas emission in the maritime industry, with emphasis on achieving 0.5 per cent Sulphur Oxide in Bunker fuel.
“Our laboratory is already completed and we hope to enter a public private partnership arrangement this year to manage the laboratory for optimal utilisation,” he stated.
The agency also carried out 20 marine accident investigations in 2021, as against 18 in 2020, while also enforcing safety regulations on barges and tugboats under the code name, Operation Sting Ray.
On Deep Blue Project, the agency last year took delivery of a further assets, some of which have been deployed to the Nigerian Navy for its operational use.
Accordingly, “the agency is collaborating with major international stakeholders in the maritime sector to entrench coordinated response to piracy and other criminalities on the Nigerian waters, prompt reportage and escalation of marine incidences to where action is most expected, and to provide navigational advisory to mariners.”
Bashir restated the agency’s commitment to improved strategic collaboration with the Nigerian security agencies, noting that it has helped to reduce piracy attacks off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, as there was no single attack on Nigerian waters in the third quarter of 2021, as reported by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
More so, he disclosed that the Deep Blue Project was enjoying international support, as the Korean Government has donated a vessel to support the project, while the Regional Maritime Awareness Centre (RMAC) was being upgraded to SEA VISION to allow for monitoring of vessels along West and Central Africa Region.