The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR have resolved to collaborate in the area of quality shipping and capacity development of indigenous operators in the Nigerian maritime industry.
This decision was reached during a courtesy visit on the Acting Director of the Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Billy Agha by the Management of NIMASA led by the Agency’s Director General Mr. Temi Omatseye in Lagos.
In his brief to the DPR team on the activities of NIMASA, Mr Omatseye stated that harnessing Nigeria’s maritime potentials is a common objective of both Agencies, adding that mutual cooperation is necessary for the actualization of the common goal.
Speaking further, the NIMASA DG noted that the Cabotage regime requires effective collaboration between NIMASA and the DPR for it to succeed. While stating that Nigeria is losing revenue accruable annuallyÂ due to Seafarers operating illegally on Nigerian waters, the NIMASA boss described the situation as unacceptable considering the fact that millions of Nigerian youths roam the streets jobless. Mr Omatseye urged the DPR to partner with NIMASA in the administration of Cabotage regime to ensure that Nigerians enjoy the benefits derivable from the policy.
This he explained, has the potential to increase nigeria’s Tonnage as well as boost the country’s international image and rating by the International Maritime Organization (IMO),
In his words – All we are asking is for the DPR to include NIMASA Certification as a pre-condition for any vessel to be eligible for a DPR License. This will ensure that we capture all such vessels in our data bank. Sincerely speaking, I want to assure you that our cooperation will create wealth for our people, especially indigenous operators in the shipping and oil & gassector. We also want anchorage collaborations. There is need for storage vessels to be cited on the high sea, while NIMASA work with indigenous operators to acquire Vessels for lighterage.
Commenting on the security level in the Nigerian maritime sector, the NIMASA helmsman reiterated the commitment of the Agency to the effective enforcement of internationally accepted best practices.
He disclosed that NIMASA will carry out an ISPS Audit of all vessels on Nigerian waters and the exercise will also be extended to all Port Facilities in the country. He also disclosed that the homeland securities department in the United States of America has expressed its desire to work with NIMASA in the area of maritime security and domain awareness.
In his response, the Director of the DPR Mr. Billy Agha commended the NIMASA Management for seeking partnership with the DPR in the interest of the nation. -This initiative is very encouraging. We need cooperation with other government agencies to ensure that our potentials are fully harnessed.
While noting that the DPR is working closely with the oil companies on aerial surveillance, the DPR boss also expressed optimism that the cooperation will yield immediate benefits for the country in the areas of surveillance and certification of ships. The DPR boss expressed optimism that the NIMASA/DPR collaboration will ensure that the DPR only issue licenses to seaworthy vessels.
At the end of the meeting, a working group was created with five members each from both DPR and NIMASA. While the Head of Technical Operations at the DPR, Malam M D LADAN leads the DPR team, the Director Cabotage Services at NIMASA, Barr Boniface Igwe leads the NIMASA team.