By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced moves to under study the hydrographic, ship registration and survey system of the Maritime and Ports Authority (MPA) of Singapore with a view to improving maritime industry in Nigeria.
At a meeting with the management of the Maritime and Ports Authority of Singapore, NIMASAâ€™s Director-General Mr Temisan Omatseye said that Nigeria has decided to under study the Singaporean hydrographic, ship registration and survey system so as to secure its waters and make the marine environment safer for operators.
Omatseye expressed satisfaction at the way the MPA has managed its waters adding that with their help Nigeria will be able to manage its waters and potentials to the benefit of the nation’s economy.
NIMASAâ€™s chief executive also called for re-institution of the Maritime Diploma programme offered by the MPA from which some Nigerians benefitted.
The programme was stopped about four years ago for no specific reason.
Omatseye said â€œWe have been doing a lot of collaboration with you on our ship registry and that is something we want to drive very strongly and that is because we have a Cabotage regime and we are trying to get it up to an appreciable standard.
â€œWe do not want to do flag of convenience, you can just do that and move on , but when it comes to respectability, your registry has more respect because if there is an issue, you are able to go to the owners directly and confront them unlike flag of convenience that their offices could be anywhere.
â€œWe know that our registry wants to partner with you and you have gained respectability , Liberia has a flag, Panama has a flag, Bahamas has one but at the end of the day you know you are talking to a Singaporean .
â€œIf we get a Singaporean vessel doing something illegal, I know I can grab somebody but this is not the same with the flag of convenience
â€œWe can begin to get our ship owners to work with your ship owners to carry a lot of our national cargoes.
Assuring NIMASA of MPAâ€™s assistance, Mr Yee Cheok Hong , the authorityâ€™s group Director of Policy and Planning said that Singapore is ready and prepare to help Nigeria develop its maritime potentials .
Mr Hong disclosed that efforts are already to re-institute the Diploma programme in ship survey and other maritime related courses.
â€œWe are able to mange our problem in the marine sector because we are small.
â€œWe see Nigeria as a partner in Africa we can work with to conduct survey coursesâ€ Hong said.