Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside (2nd left) and other members of the Ship Registry Committee at their inauguration in Lagos yesterday
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has vowed to make the Nigerian flag the best in the world and to align with the global best practice.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made this promise yesterday during a meeting with the stakeholders on the review of the ship registration office in Lagos.
The NIMASA DG also yesterday formally inaugurated the committee for the review of the activities and operations of the Nigerian Ship Registration office to confirm with international best practices.
Dr Peterside also outlined the terms of reference to the committee to include: examine the status of ship registry in line with international best standards, ascertain that the ship registration processes are of the same operational expectations with other global ship registries.
He also said that the committee is also to determine the level of automation of the Nigerian Ship registration office, advising and recommending requisite improvement of necessity in the Nigerian Ship registration offices and to assess and determine other jurisdiction with more advanced registries with which NIMASA can establish reciprocal relationship with a view to an all-round improvement of the ship registry and the Nigerian flag.
The NIMASA DG also stated that for the Nigerian flag to be business-friendly, it must not be seen to be competing with other African flags, but with the best flags in the world.
He said: "There is a distinguishing feature between this committee and other committee is because, it's primary function is not to write a report but to work hand in hand with us in implementation of the suggestions and findings”
“That is why we set up the committee because we don't want to compete with anyone in Africa, we want to compete with the best in the world.
That is our vision and we are clear in our vision. In addition, we also need comparative analysis with other leading ship registries of the world that can leverage on our relationship with some of those Maritime Administrations and ensure that the committee takes advantage of the resources of other ship registries around the world and improve on our own ship registry," he added.
Dakuku who promised to provide all necessary support for the success of the committee and implementation of the suggestions added that the agency would not mind to approach the National Assembly if there is need for it to make sure that the recommendations are implemented.
“For the committee to succeed, the first thing is that they need political will, the second, they need financial resources to provide for logistics.
Another thing, there may be cases, I don't know yet, cases where we need to look at our laws again and if need to tinker or alter our laws, I believe that we can approach the National Assembly and get it done”, he told the gartheirng.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Committee, Engr Emmanuel Ilori said that the purpose of the review was to make sure that Nigerian flag records quality ships adding that substandard ships would no longer have a place under the Nigerian flag.
"It is not just the case of more ships but quality ships under Nigerian flag. It is not about plenty ships, but about quality ships on the Nigerian flag and by the time we finish, it is not going to be a flag where substandard ships will have no place”, he said.
He acknowledged that, “there might be challenges but our aim is to bring everything together and you can see from the committee and NIMASA that we are ready to see the process through and we have had assurances from NIMASA that this is not just a report but to see that all that is necessary to be implemented is done”.