NIMASA prioritises safety, security as it gets USCGC support to eliminate CoE

NIMASA  prioritises safety, security as it gets USCGC  support  to eliminate CoE

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR has assured that the agency will stop at nothing in ensuring safety and security on the nation’s waters.
Jamoh made this known as the United States Coast Guard (USCG) offered Nigeria a three-year plan to work with the  NIMASA, for the removal of the Condition of Entry (CoE) placed on American-bound vessels from Nigeria.

The CoE, which implies additional charges imposed by multinational shipping lines on war-torn regions to cover higher risk premiums on the crew members and the vessel, was introduced for Nigeria some years ago following the upsurge in piracy and kidnapping for ransom. 
With the introduction of Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, Nigeria has eradicated piracy and kidnapping not only in the country, but also across the Gulf of Guinea region but the shipping lines have refused to waive the CoE.

Cdr. Juliet Hudson at the USCG headquarters in Washington DC disclosed this during a peer review visit by a delegation from NIMASA. Hudson announced a bi-annual assessment of compliance level with the International Ships and Ports Security ISPS code implementation at Nigeria’s seaports working with NIMASA.

“We will work with NIMASA to review the compliance level of Ports in Nigeria with the provisions of the ISPS Code. This will be done twice a year to enable us update the Port Advisory Security Portal in the White House after which a decision will be taken to completely lift the Condition of Entry. We commend NIMASA for ISPS implementation and please deliver this award to your DG”, she said.

Meanwhile, the NIMASA boss on Friday, received in audience, USCG Advisor, Lt. Benjamin Montz who led a delegation to NIMASA. Jamoh stated that the Agency would continue to prioritise safety and security on the Nigerian waterways in order to realise the mandate of the Blue Economy.

He acknowledged the support from the American government in seeing to the implementation of ISPS in Nigeria and noted that any support to Nigeria should be extended to other countries in the Gulf of Guinea.

The NIMASA DG maintained that Nigeria plays a vital role in the Gulf of Guinea and therefore urged the USCG to extend support to countries in the GoG region in order to consolidate on the gains of the Deep Blue Project in the region, whilst also bolstering the existing ties in the region.

 “Nigeria is a major stakeholder in the Gulf of Guinea; you will agree with me that most of the activities in the region revolves around Nigeria. “We acknowledge the support you have been giving us; we request that you extend it to other countries in the GoG, as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and all credit goes to the United States Government," he stated.

Jamoh also called on the USCG to assist in training the Agency’s personnel, noting that a gap analysis will be done, and then synchronise with the USCG in order to give the right training to the right personnel. 

Earlier in his remarks, the leader of the delegation from the USCG, Lt. Benjamin Montz noted that they are in Nigeria as part of their plans to support the Agency in the area of training, while also collaborating with Agency to improve safety and security in the country’s maritime sector, with particular reference to port operations in Nigeria.

NIMASA is the Designated Authority responsible for the implementation of the ISPS facility code in Nigeria. Over the years, the Agency has continued to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve its mandate, with the United States Coast Guard providing the required support and assistance towards the realisation of safer and more secured waterways in Nigeria, and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.

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