By Godwin Oritse
OFFICIALS of the United States Coast Guard have arrived Nigeria to assess the nation’s port security facilities.
Although Vanguard was not on the tour of the facilities by the visiting coast guard officials, sources close to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, being the designated Authority for the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility and Security (ISPS) Code, said the visit would be restricted to Lagos Maritime security zone.
Vanguard, however, gathered that some facilities were actually listed for failing the ISPS code assessment test, which made the team to advise vessels against calling at such facilities.
Confirming the development, General Manager, Security, Nigerian Ports Authority, Col. Jamil Tahir, retd, told Vanguard that the Coast Guard officials were in town to re-assess the affected facilities for onward accreditation.
Tahir said the officials came in on Monday, adding that they would be in Nigeria till the end of the week when they are expected to brief the appropriate authorities of their findings.
“After the visit, some of the affected facilities will be removed from the exemption list,’’ he said.
Similarly, the Vice Chairman of the Port Facilities Security Officer (PFSO) Forum, Dr. Zeb Ikokide, said the U S had come to be accepted as custodian of the ISPS Code and that their views on port security issues were taken seriously.
Ikokide also said that some facilities that failed to meet the standard of the ISPS Code would have to be upgraded.