.Biometric ID card now compulsory for port operations
In spite of the success recorded in the Implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code in Nigeria, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stated that the Agency will not rest on its oars until the full implementation of the code is attained.
Dr. Peterside who made this assertion during the opening of the ISPS code Auditors’ Training conducted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in conjunction with NIMASA in Lagos recently, noted that the Agency being the Designated Authority (DA) for the implementation of the code in Nigeria, has embraced relevant trainings to acquaint its operational Staff of the rudiments of ensuring that our Ports and Jetties remain safe for economic growth and development.
He stated further that the training was a follow up to the previous Ports Facilities Security Officers (PFSO’s) Training conducted by the IMO and NIMASA in August, 2016.
According to him “this training is a continuation of the series of trainings highlighted for technical support by the IMO for enhancement of Nigeria’s maritime security to sustain the high standard of the implementation in line with global best practices. The training will equip participants with in-depth skills of carrying out audits which will further reflect high level compliance by stakeholders”.
While commending other sister parastatals of the Agency, especially the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for their cooperation and dedication towards achieving a safe maritime environment, Dr. Peterside hinted that the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has approved a unified biometric Identity Card system for operatives and workers that would be accessing any port facility in Nigeria to further boost security.
Responding to the DG’s comments, the IMO lead consultant Mr. Brian Cranmer commended the Management of NIMASA for its commitment towards the full implementation of the code, stating that the IMO will continue to support NIMASA to achieve this target.
“This is evident by the promptness of the IMO towards the delivery of the important training to enhance the competence and capacity of the participants for the benefit of the Agency”, Cranmer assured.
It is worthy to note that the Dr. Dakuku Peterside led management of NIMASA is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the Nigerian maritime space is safe and secure for shipping activities; this is obvious in the reduction of Piracy on Nigeria’s waterways as released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report recently.
NIMASA was in May, 2013 appointed the DA in charge of the implementation of the ISPS code after the dissolution of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS). The Agency recently received commendations from the US Coast Guard for its drive in the implementation of the code having surpassed the 70% Benchmark in National compliance level.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is the government Agency solely responsible for shipping regulations, maritime safety and security and maritime labour regulation amongst others as enshrined in the Act establishing the Agency in 2007.