… 114 Port facilities fully ISPS Code compliant
…To engage 1000 Rescue Marshalls
Buoyed by the need to improve safety and security in the maritime domain, the Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in the last one year adopted a rounded effort at addressing the need.
Giving a breakdown of the various efforts made thus far, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, at a world news conference in Lagos, said the Agency is working on an Anti-piracy Bill to achieve a safer maritime domain.
He said the Regional Search and Rescue Committee has improved the capacity to respond to distress calls, just as NIMASA has secured the approval of the Honourable Minister of Transportation to increase the number of Search and Rescue Marshalls from 100 to 1000.
According to the DG, the increase in the level of alertness was induced by NIMASA’s efforts; on two occasions it hosted the sub-regional technical committee meetings to build a formidable regional network.
Peterside noted that until the effort by NIMASA, the committee which is made up of nine countries including Nigeria “never met to discuss modalities of collaboration for almost a decade.”
Speaking on the compliance level with the International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, Peterside said that with the Agency’s drive “the result is that Nigeria now has a compliance rate of almost 80% as 114 Port facilities out of the total 145 ports in Nigeria are now fully ISPS compliant.”
He said this was in spite of the fact that “NIMASA was only appointed the Designated Authority for the implementation of ISPS Code in Nigeria barely 5 years ago when compliance level was barely 13%.
Peterside said NIMASA is working to ensure achieving a 100% compliance level in the next one year, even though 8% of the remaining 31 Port Facilities were currently pursuing compliance.
On surveillance and maritime domain awareness, the NIMASA DG said: “NIMASA now operates a 24-hour surveillance system, which captures all vessels in the Nigerian Maritime domain irrespective of weather conditions.
“We can now achieve a complete profile analysis, which includes the Flag, Registered owner, Operator, Beneficial owner and movements over a specified period.
“This system enables us to take very swift decisions, in real time, on any targeted ship.
“Currently, all offshore areas of interest have been electronically cordoned off with a guard zone via our surveillance system and we can at once view live feed (activities) especially in the oil fields and on crude oil platforms.
“The system has not only greatly increased our capacity to block revenue leaks, but has increased our revenue as all vessels coming into Nigeria are now captured and analyzed for billing.”
He also shared on the fact that NIMASA has been able to “integrate surveillance data with billing control information thereby driving our desire for the Agency’s Billing System to be fully automated.
“This new innovation encourages seamless operations and has helped reduce billing operational time by two-thirds; from a whooping 72 hrs down to 24 hrs while keeping our eyes the target timeline of 6 hrs billing.”