ISPS Code: Our Target Is 100% Implementation--- NIMASA DG

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured that its target is100 per cent compliance and implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code in Nigeria.NIMASA Director-General, Dr Dakuku Peterside, stated this on Monday at the opening of a five-day training programme on Advanced Drill and Exercise Training for implementation officers of NIMASA on the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code. The training was jointly organised by NIMASA and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in Lagos.The NIMASA DG said that the agency has also provided safe and secured ports for the conduct of maritime and economic activities as part of efforts to achieve the feat.Peterside, who was represented by the Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Service, Mr Gambo Ahmed, said that the training would acquaint participants on best practices in the maritime sector administration.“The Agency has steadily increased its compliance level among International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code applicable facilities.“Our officers have also been able to guide compliance and boost awareness levels in the maritime security environment.“We do not wish to rest on our laurels as the zeal to acquire 100 per cent compliance in all port facilities can only be achieved if the officers are technically equipped and updated on international standards required for ISPS Code implementation,’’ Peterside said.Peterside assured that despite achieving 90% Compliance on ISPS Code implementation at 123 port facilities in Nigeria, the agency is not resting on its oars until 100% Compliance with the code is achieved.He said that the agency has steadily increased its compliant levels amongst ISPS applicable facilities and its officers have been able to guide compliance and boost awareness levels in the maritime security environment. "In line with this goal, we are grateful to the IMO for once again providing this forum for knowledge sharing. We want to assure the IMO and international community that NIMASA and Nigeria as a whole is determined to provide safe and secure ports for the conduct of maritime and economic activities and will leave no stone unturned to accomplish this"Also speaking, NIMASA Executive Director of Operations, Engr Rotimi Fashakin said IMO has been a great partner with Nigeria in implementing the ISPS Code.  According to him, the US has been pushing hard for expanding security of the maritime areas and port facilities following the September 11 attack."The US, IMO and other world bodies has been ensuring strict compliance with the ISPS code. In 2013 we were just 13% compliant but now we are at 90% compliant. The US and our partners are happy about it and we are not resting on our oars, this is why we are training and retraining" He saidFashakin said that the agency has created a new corps of maritime professionals called Recognised Security Organisations who complement it's efforts in the mandatory ISPS Code inspections. He said that this has further generated employment in line with the Federal Government's commitment to job creation.Lead Consultant of the IMO delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Brian Cranmer said the idea of the workshop is to train various personnel on how to conduct correctly drill and exercises.According to him, drills have to be carried out every three months, while exercises must be carried out annually as part of legal requirement in the ISPS code and that NIMASA is aware of this.In order for Nigeria to achieve 100percent compliance with ISPS Code, Cranmer charged NIMASA as the Designated Authority to have a monitoring programme in place, carry out inspections and various kinds of trainings.He said that the Government needs to constantly monitor port facilities for compliance."The IMO works on funding, especially for projects like this, the finding comes from other countries and it goes into a port froM where we use it to support countries that make requests for assistance for training""This training would concentrate on IMO drills and exercises, the objective is to provide participants with further knowledge and skills to ensure that NIMASA would further it's inspection priority programmes for port facilities and ships as identified in the ISPS Code and maritime security legislation in Nigeria" he said.