By Godwin Oritse
THERE were indications, yesterday, that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, would be stepping up its anti-pollution oversight over the nation’s maritime ecosystem. To this end the Agency has requested International Oil Companies, IOCs, to submit their annual contingency plans with a view to ensuring that such plans were devoid of pollution hazards.
Speaking at the just concluded harmonized stakeholders’ interactive forum themed: “Synergy: An instrument for sustainable development of the Blue Economy”, Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that early submission of these plans will help the agency review them in good time.
Peterside said that with enough time to review the plans, the agency will in turn ensure a safe and secured transportation of men and materials on the nation’s marine environment. He said that to achieve a seamless cooperation between the agency and maritime stakeholders, it will set rules and ensure players abide by the rules.
Peterside also expressed dismay at some unwholesome actions of some governmental agencies in the maritime sector. He listed the actions as including, “lack of regard to the provision of the International Ships and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code by government agencies operating in the ports such as the Nigerian Ports Authority’s role duplicating the functions of the Designated Authority;
Customs officers assaulting guards on duty administering the ISPS Code procedures on access control and; Port Health officers boarding ships without following due procedures. We cannot overemphasize the need and roles information sharing plays in forming synergy between the various agencies in this regard.”