NIMASA, NCC collaborate on submarine cable regulation
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders on developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine cable and pipeline operators for safe navigation of ship on Nigeria waters.
Officials of both organs of government reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation in Lagos, according to a statement sent to The Guardian yesterday by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edward.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Mr Dasuki Arabi, in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business, while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, it is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters, with NIMASA focuses on ensuring safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
He said NIMASA is developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which have been ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency starts. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this,” Jamoh stated.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation.
He urged NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice.
Also speaking, the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms, Mr Dasuki Arabi, commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.