NIMASA Presents Three Years Score Card Under Jamoh’s Leadership
By Francis Ugwoke
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has presented the score card of the agency in the past three years that the Director-General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh assumed office.
In a statement from the Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr Osagie Edwards, the agency pointed out achievements in security on the nation’s waters and Gulf of Guinea (GoG) with piracy and armed robbery attacks going down.
The agency said the signing into law the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Related Offences (SPOMO) Act by President Muhammadu Buhari followed by other measures have all led to the good news recorded against piracy.
The agency also released its performance in the area of search and rescue operations, port and flag state administration amongst others.
The statement reads, “Before 2019, we do not have law, separate law that tried this offenders and criminals that we arrest those involved in piracy and kidnapping.
“Therefore, we try to get this formal act Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Related Offences (SPOMO) Act signed by Mr. President in June 2019. As of today we have secured convictions under this Act. This has also served as a deterrent to would be criminals.
“To further deter these criminalities on the waterways and make our youths gainfully employed, the Agency engaged the Marine Litter Marshals Usually.
“Records therefore shows that from third quarter of 2021 until date, we have never recorded one single attack in our own territorial water”.
Apart from successes in the area of security on the waterways, the agency also revealed what it has been able to do to ensure safety, search and rescue operation, port and flag state administration amongst others.
The statement reads, “The Federal Executive Council, at the end of the last quarter of 2021, approved the wreck removals from Badagry axis up to the Tincan Island project has gone very far.
“Again, in the first quarter of 2022, the Federal Executive Council approved the removal of the entire wrecks also in the other zones of Nigeria, comprising Western zone with headquarters in Lagos, Eastern zone headquarters in Port Harcourt and then central Zone headquarters in Warri. All these projects have achieved major milestones.
“We engaged the Nigerian Navy Naval Dockyard in Lagos to repair our operational vessels, Millennia 1 and Millennium 2. Today both vessels and five others are almost ready for deployment for enforcement purposes. This will also enhance our search and rescue operation, port and flag state administration amongst others.
“In order to attend to the emergencies that may occur after a Search and Rescue Operations, the Agency has built two brand new Search and Base clinic of international standard at Azare Crescent, Apapa and Kirikiri. We are hopeful to commission it soon. The hospital is not for NIMASA or Nigeria, but original Regional States, NIMASA in charge of nine countries in terms of Search and Rescue. The hospital is of high international standard, we hope to treat all calibers of patients locally, and internationally, with the state of arts equipment the facility will possess, when completed.
“In the area our Flag and Port State Administration, at the inception of the administration, there was no single vessel for enforcement. Today, we have built seven brand new bullet proofs boats and we expect them to have completed the building. They are being built in Spain, and we are hoping that before the end of March, we will receive and commission the vessel.
“As soon as the vessels are commissioned, there will be enhanced enforcement performance; and we plan to divide the use of the vessels; not only in Lagos, but also to other zones of the Agency. All these will cater for the issue of safety”.
Other areas which the agency revealed its performance include education under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) leading to the training of many Nigerian youths in Nigeria and abroad.
The agency said, “In the area of education, the Agency introduced the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP). The Nigerian NSDP development program is a capacity development programme..
“Now in order to ensure that we do not forget our own training institution in Nigeria, we have improved our interface with the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron. The Agency’s statutory funding of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria in Oron has been on point since 2020.
“We have Simulators, among other state of the art facilities, and the funding by NIMASA has been unhindered. This is in addition to other private maritime institutions, the private like Charkins, they are now also coming up with a lot of accreditation of diplomas and other short-term certificates that we are doing it locally, saving foreign exchange that we are having.
“In addition to this initiative, the Agency created skill acquisition centres across six geopolitical zones. For the South-West we have Lagos, in the South-East we have Anambra, for South-South we have Bayelsa, for North-East, we have Maiduguri, Borno state; for North-West we have Kaduna State for North Central we have Kwara.
So all this skill acquisition centers have the capacity of training younger Nigerians on different aspects of professionalism”.
The performance chart presented by NIMASA includes what it has been able to do in the area of the blue economy project and shipping development.
For instance, the agency noted that with the presidential approval on the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), it is optimistic that this will likely be actualized in the second quarter of 2023.