NIMASA increases conditional survey of flag registration
The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has announced an increase of 43.6 per cent in condition survey for flag registration by the agency in year 2021 as against the performance in 2020.
He said the agency also recorded an improved Port State Control (PSC) implementation this year with 24.2 per cent higher than the PSC inspections of 2020.
Jamoh, who disclosed this during a media interactive session in Lagos, noted that despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency ensured improved Port and Flag State Administration following the safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
A breakdown of the figures shows that in 2020, the agency carried out a condition survey of vessels under Flag Registration for 276 vessels, while in 2021, the figure increased to 489, representing a 43.6 per cent improvement.
Port State Control implementation by NIMASA in 2021 was assessed onboard 673 vessels, which was a marked improvement on the 510 Vessels Boarded for Port State inspection in 2020 representing a 24.2 per cent increment.
Jamoh also disclosed that the agency reactivated the online portal for stakeholders to verify Nigerian Certificate(s) of Competency CoC from any part of the world.
“The online certificate verification platform was reactivated last year to reduce falsification of Nigerian Seafarers Certificate and enhance the employment of Nigerian Seafarers.
“We experienced rejection of Nigerian Seafarers both locally and internationally and the Agency decided to introduce an online certificate verification platform which allows shipowners to easily authenticate CoC’s from the comfort of their electronic devices.”
While raising concern over the percentage of failures recorded for Nigerian seafarers who sat for the Certificate of Competency examination last year, Jamoh announced that the agency has commenced investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the trend to address it holistically.
Jamoh disclosed that in the year 2021, NIMASA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maritime Transport Coordination Center (MTCC) for capacity development to address the need for reduction of greenhouse 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 said
The agency also carried out 20 marine accident investigations in 2021, as against 18 in the year 2020, while also enforcing safety regulations on barges and tugboats under the code name; Operation Sting Ray.
The NIMASA helmsman revealed further that the agency took delivery of more Deep Blue Project Assets, which was flagged off by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that some of these assets have been deployed to the Nigerian Navy for its operational use.
He said the agency is also collaborating with major international stakeholders in the maritime sector to entrench coordinated response to piracy and other criminalities on the Nigerian waters.
Jamoh further noted the agency’s commitment to improved strategic collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Airforce, Police, Army and the office of the National Security Adviser.
This move, he said, 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).