Lagos – The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has said that the nation is committed to safety standards in the maritime sector.
This is contained in a statement made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Lagos by the Head, Public Relations Department of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka.
According to the statement, the minister stated this in his address at the ongoing Regional Training on Port State Control (PSC) in Lagos for West and Central African countries.
Amaechi said that merchant ships often traded outside the areas that were under the jurisdiction of the Flag State.
The minister said the maritime agencies could not, therefore, guarantee that all ships under their flag were in full compliance with safety requirements.
Amaechi noted that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) mandated maritime administrations to periodically carry out Port State Control in compliance with the instruments to which the Flag State was a party.
He said that the high level of maritime activities in the nation’s waters imposed enormous challenges on coastal countries in the West and Central Africa in terms of building a robust and effective maritime safety regime.
According to him, the need to therefore continually update the knowledge of vessel inspectors and surveyors cannot be overstated, especially against the backdrop of rapid changes at both the industry and operating environment levels.
Amaechi said the Federal Government was committed toward repositioning the maritime sector for effectiveness and efficiency.
He assured member states of Nigeria’s co-operation for a better Port State Control implementation.
In his address, the Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Mr Haruna Jauro, said the agency would ensure effective implementation of Port State Control.
Jauro said that NIMASA was also committed to human capacity development, adding that the ongoing training was geared toward the development of the sector and the nation at large.
“The Agency (NIMASA) will continue to build the required capacity to meet domestic and international obligations aimed at making our waterways safe for shipping activities,’’ the acting director-general said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NIMASA Act empowers it to carry out Port State Inspection of foreign vessels that call at the nation’s ports.
The eight-day training being hosted by NIMASA, has in attendance representatives from the 19 member states of the Abuja MoU on Port State Control with resource persons drawn from the IMO.