ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The International Maritime Organisation Member States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) has submitted an interim report after its week-long audit of the Nigerian maritime sector with a call on maritime stakeholders especially the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to develop and formalise a long-term strategy for the implementation of IMO instruments in the country.
Presenting the interim report, the leader of the IMSAS team, Captain Yalscin Cahit harped on the need for the agency to develop its systems, noting that NIMASA has no problems with human resources as he lauded the expertise, competence and commitment of the agency’s personnel. He also drew attention to the need to fast track enactment of regulations pursuant to IMO instruments for which Nigeria is party to. Captain Cahit said issuance of regulations is critical to enforcement of IMO instruments.
Captain Cahit, who noted that the interim report has 11 findings and one observation, emphasised the need for the agency to respond within 90 days, to the findings and highlight the strategies being developed to remedy the gaps identified. He also highlighted positive strides Nigerian maritime sector is making.
Meanwhile, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has promised the IMSAS team that the agency together with other stakeholders are committed to the implementation of relevant IMO instruments for the overall development of the Nigerian maritime industry.
Peterside, who restated that the IMO Audit was in line with the vision of NIMASA, also said that the agency would leverage on the findings and observation of the interim report to repositioning the Nigerian maritime industry for more efficiency and competitiveness.
While thanking the IMO Audit team to Nigeria for a thorough job done, Dr. Peterside assured the team that the agency would take the report very seriously and in the next one year, most of the identified deficiencies will be drastically reduced if not completely eliminated.
“With the active support of the Honourable Minister of Transportation and the leadership of the Agency which is forward looking, focused and determined, Nigeria will certainly regain its lost glory in the comity of maritime nations. NIMASA will immediately settle down to work to address these findings”, the DG said.
The audit is aimed at promoting consistent and effective implementation of applicable IMO conventions, resolutions and protocols amongst member nations as well as assist member states to improve their capabilities in the enforcement of these instruments for the overall benefit of global shipping.