By Godfrey Bivbere & Annesthesia Okolie
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Temi Omatseye has called on stakeholders in the maritime industry participate in Search and Rescue (SAR) in the country.
Omatseye stated this in Lagos during the inauguration of the National Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Committee.
The NIMASA boss who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr Ibrahim Zailani noted that Search and Rescue operations can not be handled by NIMASA because of its enormity.
The Director_General said that saving lives is the responsibility of everyone, adding that â€œit is important to have a National Search and Rescue Committee which will serve as the platform for harnessing the potentials of all stakeholders toward improving Nigeria?s Search and Rescue services.?
He said that NIMASA established a Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRRC) in Lagos and four other rescue sub_centres at Oron, Bonny, Lokoja and Escravos in order to have an efficient maritime Search and Rescue organisation.
Omatseye recalled that NIMASA co_established a Joint Rescue Co_ordination Centre (JRCC) with Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in line with the provisions of the International Aeronautical and Maritime Search and Rescue Organisation (IAMSAR).
In his welcome address, NIMASA Executive Director Maritime Safety and ShippingÂ Development, Mr Ishaku Shekarau said the onus was on Nigeria to lead way in ensuring that an efficient and effective SAR services are provided to seafarers.
Shekarau expressed optimism that the National SAR Committee would be well positioned to ensure that Nigeria?s overall SAR plan is well coordinated and executed to achieve the nations? SAR objectives.
He said that the Committee should form a base for pulling together the resources required for effective Search and Rescue operations.
Seventeen members, constituting the National SAR Committee were inaugurated.
They include: NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), the Marine Police, the Nigerian Air force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
Others are: Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), oil companies, Indigenous Ship owners Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA), the Media, Nigerian Trawler Owners Association (NITOA), National Emergency Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Fire Service. Others are: Marine Industrial Services Consultative Organisation (MISCO) and Julius Berger Plc.