By Godfrey Bivbere
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, yesterday, said Nigeria has so far ratified 40 conventions of the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, and International Labour Organisation, ILO, on maritime safety, maritime labour and marine environment management.
But he also said that the non-implementation and enforcement of the international conventions is hindering prospective investments in the country.
According to him, Nigeria has domesticated 19 of these conventions either by adoption, regulations or by incorporation under the “Merchant Shipping Act, 2007.”
Peterside who made this known at the 8th strategic admiralty law seminar for judges in Lagos, explained that several times at international events when he tries to sell Nigeria maritime as an investment heaven, the foreign investors have always raised the issue of uncertainty in quick dispensation of litigations and implementation of laws.
He pointed out that the seminar with the theme, “Strengthening Nigeria’s Admiralty Regime through Effective Implementation of International Maritime and Labour Instruments,” was meant to enlighten Magistrates and Judges of the importance of speedy dispensation of maritime litigations.
He stated: “Part of the objectives of hosting this seminar is to sensitise Judges on contemporary maritime law issues both within and outside the Nigeria jurisdiction, as shipping by its nature is a multi-jurisdictional enterprise.
“We are working with the Federal Ministry of Transportation under the auspices of an Inter-Ministerial Committee to ratify an additional six IMO conventions before the end of 2019 to ensure that Nigeria as an IMO member state fulfils its treaty obligation.
“The agency is also working with relevant stakeholders under the auspices of the IMO Mandatory States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) Corrective Action Plan Committee to ensure that all queries raised in the 2016 IMO Audit Report on the Nigerian Maritime sector particularly the domestication of ratified maritime conventions are addressed before the first quarter of 2019 to boost Nigeria’s re-election bid into Category C of the IMO General Council.