LAGOS – The U.S. Government on Friday confirmed that 13 more port facilities in Nigeria were now fully compliant with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Isichei Osamgbi, Deputy Director and Head of Public Relations of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos.
According the statement, the total number of compliant port facilities in Nigeria is now 22.
The number of compliance was nine after the last visit of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) on May 21, 2013, it said.
The statement said that the US government acknowledged the effort of the agency in raising the security levels of ships and port facilities.
It said that Nigeria should be assured of its commitment to continue to partner with the U.S. to improve on security measures.
“The U.S. Government has imposed Conditions of Entry (COE) on vessels calling from some Nigerian port terminals which are yet to comply with the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code.”
The statement said that the COE would require affected vessels to meet certain security measures, prior to entering U.S. ports.
“According to the Diplomatic Note, the COE are not trade sanctions and do not ban Nigerian ships from entering U.S ports.
“It does require ships, however, to take certain additional security related measures and the COE has no impact on shipping traffic entering Nigerian waters, as well as berthing at its ports.
“It deals only with shipping traffic departing Nigerian ports that is destined for the U.S,” the statement said.
The statement said that Lt.-Cdr. Chad Fait, the Port Security Liaison Officer of the USCG for Europe and Africa, had affirmed his commitment to work with NIMASA.
It said that the USCG would work with the agency in ensuring that the Nigerian ports were ISPS code-compliant.
The statement said the Director General of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi, assured all stakeholders that “the agency will continue to work tirelessly on all identified improvement opportunities in strengthening consultation with the USCG’’. (NAN)