By Godwin Oritse
IN a bid to further strengthen the nation’s maritime security, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, in collaboration with International Maritime Organization, IMO, has commenced moves to develop capacity to implement and enforce maritime safety and security legislations.
Director General NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, disclosed this at the commencement of a three-day Table Top exercise on security in West and Central Africa. He said that cooperation amongst relevant government departments and agencies will enhance the fight against piracy and armed robbery on ships.
Peterside explained that the cooperation will not only enhance security in the nation’s coastal and territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone, but its impact will cascade towards the West and Central African States.
He stated: “The International Ship and Port Security, ISPS, Code implementation Committee commenced the process of inter-agency coordination in the event of an emergency. This Table Top exercise will further buttress the ongoing effort to determine the respective roles, responsibilities, processes and procedures we are all to play in the event of an accident.
“This exercise by IMO will be done using a range of global evolving scenarios. The essence of the ISPS Code is bordered on the need to respond to the signs of times by putting in place holistic strategies to protect our ports and the ships calling upon them from across the world through adequate security of our maritime domain.”
Similarly, NIMASA’s Executive Director, Operations, Engr Rotimi Fashakin, said the exercise is designed to test the flexibility of response mechanism in the event of a breach of maritime security.
IMO consultant, Mr. Brian Crammer, told Vanguard that the exercise is aimed at supporting the implementation of the code of conduct concerning piracy and armed robbery against ships, as well as illicit maritime activities in West and Central Africa.