The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says it has been implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, (ISPS), a major component of maritime security architecture.
Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, NIMASA, said this in a statement made on Monday in Lagos.
He said this while receiving the Deputy Head of International Maritime Security Operations Team (IMSOT), Mr Jim Hamilton in Lagos.
Jamoh said that Hamliton led a team on a working visit to assess the level of compliance of some Ports facilities in the country with the ISPS Code.
Jamoh, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director Operations, Mr Shehu Ahmed, said the importance of an effective implementation of the ISPS Code regime could not be overemphasised.
He said this necessitated the Nigerian government to domesticate ISPS Code Implementation Regulations since 2014, bearing in mind that it was an integral aspect of the Safety of Life at Sea, SOLAS, Convention.
Jamoh also welcomed the peer review mechanism from IMSOT.
“We at NIMASA have such a peer review arrangement with the United States Coast Guard, which has been highly effective in developing capacity for ISPS Code implementation. We are working to extend the relationship to other countries.
“This we believe, will ensure that our personnel possess the requisite skills and competencies to execute their responsibilities in line with the mandate of the ICIR 2014.
“The importance of the exposure of our personnel to the legal regimes and security operations of other contracting governments is not lost on us,” he said.
While assuring the team that steps had been taken to address areas of concerns raised during their visit in 2018, the NIMASA DG informed IMSOT team that the Agency was also taking steps to tackle activities of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said that it would be through the Deep Blue Project initiative of the Federal Government, in addition to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, which was gradually yielding results.
Speaking after a working visit to some Port Facilities in Lagos, Hamilton expressed satisfaction at the level of cooperation and synergy existing among government agencies in Nigerian maritime industry.
He said that they would share knowledge with NIMASA to ensure optimum implementation of the ISPS Code in Nigeria.
Hamilton also expressed the readiness of IMSOT to share ideas on their operations in the United Kingdom (UK) and to train personnel of the Agency to foster better cooperation with Nigeria.
He said that the initiative would foster collaboration, cooperation and sharing through knowledge acquisition among member states.
Hamilton also said it would consolidate the gains in implementing maritime security as well as identify areas of improvement for both parties.
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