By Victoria Hanson
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has identified the support of the
United States Coast Guard (USCG) and cooperation of Nigeria stakeholders as reasons behind the success the Agency has achieved in the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
The DG stated this when he received a delegation of the USCG led by Mr. Edward Munoz who are in Nigeria on a pre-assessment visit of port and terminal facilities in Nigeria.
Dr. Peterside who observed that the effective implementation of the ISPS code is for the good of the global shipping industry also noted that NIMASA as the Designated Authority for the implementation of the code in Nigeria is committed to safe and secure shipping.
He 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 assured the delegation of NIMASA’s readiness to collaborate with its partners even as he said the full implementation of the ISPS code is capable of drastically reducing security challenges in the maritime industry.
“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. I am sure that delegation will be more than satisfied that Nigeria is on course and that our dream of being the hub of maritime activities in the whole of West and Central African will be inching closer by the day”, Dr. Peterside said.
He appreciated the visiting team for the information and lessons learned from previous visits and called on the United States Government to continue to support Nigeria towards the full implementation of the ISPS code and indeed other areas where the country is experiencing security challenges.
Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Edward Munoz explained that the USCG team were in Nigeria for a pre-assessment visit to highlight areas requiring improvement and to notify Nigeria of timelines for the scheduled USCG Assessment Audit expected to hold in February 2017.
“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 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.