U.S. Coastguards in Nigeria to strengthen implementation of ISPS Code
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) was recently in the country to carry out a pre-assessment report of port and terminal facilities in Nigeria, in line with the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
The ISPS Code is an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention (1974/1988) on minimum security arrangements for ships, ports and government agencies. It came into force in 2004 and prescribes responsibilities to governments, shipping companies, shipboard personnel, and port/facility personnel to “detect security threats and take preventative measures against security incidents affecting ships or port facilities used in international trade.
The group, which is more concerned with the safety of life and property at sea and terminals, however added that the visit was to prepare Nigeria for the USCG Assessment Audit coming up in February 2017.
The Leader of the USCG team, Edward Munoz, said: “The purpose of this visit was really to prepare for the next assessment visit so it goes smoothly. With the details of the schedule and also to provide questions to the Port Facility Security Officers (PFSOs) and to NIMASA so that they know what kind of information we will be looking for”.
He thanked NIMASA for the work done on the implementation so far and assured the Agency of the continuous support and partnership of the USCG at all times.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside has identified the support of the U.S. Coast Guard and cooperation of Nigeria stakeholders as reasons behind the success the Agency has achieved in the implementation of the ISPS Code.
Peterside welcomed third party evaluation from the USCG team saying it provides the Agency a better opportunity to assess its progress and adopt new improvement initiatives saying that “ultimately all of us are working for a common purpose, a safer world through safety and security of the maritime sub sector. If we fix our different corners of the earth, the whole world will be safer for everybody. And so, no effort should be spared in trying to guarantee safety and security of all our people”.
The DG said: “We are totally committed, we are working very hard with all our partners and one thing we are sure of is that by the time the full assessment team comes in February, they would have noticed remarkable improvement”.
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