The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) under the leadership of Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR as witnessed tremendous transformation in the last three years.
Jamoh was appointed as the Director General of the agency in March 2020 with a clear vision stated in the triple -S agenda To Regulate and Promote Maritime Safety, Security, Marine Pollution and Maritime Labour, to promote the development of Indigenous Commercial Shipping in International and Coastal Shipping Trade.
As a Safety Administration, the agency implements International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships, MARPOL, and safety of lives at sea, SOLAS, and the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers STCW amongst others.
Owing to the importance of the triple S agenda, the agency under Dr Bashir Jamoh OFR set out for work from the very day of resumption in achieving the agency’s mandate as set out in the NIMASA Act, the Merchant Shipping Act, the Cabotage Act, and the Suppression of Piracy and other related maritime crimes offences Act.
There is no gainsaying that under Jamoh’s leadership with the help of the management staff the agency has achieved and sustained safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with global best practices towards Nigeria’s economic development, which is the mission of the agency.
According to statistics The Jamoh led administration at NIMASA has been able to motivate staff for optimal productivity. Within the last three years having over 1, 300 staff promoted from one grade level to another as 595 in 2020, 302 in 2021 and 472 in 2022 were promoted.
Stakeholders have described the commitment, accountability and professionalism seen in the staff of the agency as a result of the motivation they get.
Checks revealed that Jamoh inherited a staff condition of service which was last reviewed in 2010. He and his team however secured a review taking into consideration the realities on ground.
With the agency showing commitment to staff capacity development as over 100 staff have benefited from long term training at the World Maritime University and other institutions offering training relevant to the industry. Other forms of capacity development for staff are ongoing.
- Maritime Security
Security of the Maritime Domain is very critical to the day-to-day operation of the sector. Security helps to boost investors’ confidence; hence, the following key accomplishments under the current dispensation. Signing into law of the SPOMO Act by Mr. President.
The launch of the Deep Blue Project
Significant Reduction in Piracy and Kidnappings Arrests and Successful Prosecution of Criminals.
Leadership of Regional Maritime Collaboration Forum to tackle Insecurity
Nigeria’s Removal from IMBs Red List
NIMASA under the watch of the current administration midwife a forum for the Agency to constantly engage international stakeholders such a s BIMCO, INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO, OCIMF, ICS, and international oil companies under the auspices of the industry maritime security work group NIWG which latter transformed into the SHADE Gulf of Guinea.
The improved international collaboration coupled with the enhanced partnership with the Nigerian Navy, security in Nigerian waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea has greatly improved.
Record showed that since the last quarter of 2021 the issue of piracy has become a thing of the past in Nigeria waters.
The statistics on piracy and kidnapping in Nigerian waters speaks for itself. From 82 cases of piracy in Nigerian waters in 2018, 61 in 2019, 81 in 2020, down to 34 in 2021, and now to nil in 2022 and the first quarter of 2023.
According to reports the giant stride achievement has gone a long way in restoring international confidence in the Nigerian maritime industry.
In terms of safety of navigation in Nigerian territorial waters, the current management at NIMASA embarked on Wreck removal.
With the first phase of removals going on course. This was done in conjunction with the Hydrographic Department of the Nigerian Navy in identifying the wrecks.Jamoh and his team also developed an environmental sensitivity index map of the Nigerian Coastline. This charting makes it easy to identify and tackle environmental issues in the maritime sector.
In other to attend to the emergencies that may occur after a Search and Rescue Operations, the agency also built two brand new Search and Base clinics of international standard at Azare Crescent, Apapa and Kirikiri expected to be commissioned soon.
In the area of Flag and Port State Administration, at the inception of the administration, there was no single vessel for enforcement. Today, the agency has built seven brand new bullet proof boats and expected to arrive in the country before the end of March 2023 from Spain where it is being built.
Shipping development also witnessed major milestone achievement by the Jamoh led administration.
The critical aspect of shipping development encompasses fleet expansion, shipbuilding and ship repairs.
Shipping is responsible for over 90 percent of international transportation of goods that sustain the global supply chain, which is a significant component of the global economy, enhancing import and exports of goods and services.
NIMASA under the current leadership of Dr Bashir Jamoh is already on the verge of disbursing the CVFF. The disbursement of the CVFF, which has been a challenge for previous administrations due to its complex nature, is expected to be disbursed before the end of second quarter.
The agency having secured Presidential approvals have met with the Primary lending Institutions as processes and documentations are now finalised.
The Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme: NSDP, is another inherited project that has been improved upon by the current leadership at NIMASA. Over 2,000 young Nigerians have benefited from this project to develop Marine Engineering, Nautical Science and Naval Architecture, of which many are now gainfully employed and sailing on both coastal and international vessels.
The challenge with the inherited project was sea time. Within three years, all beneficiaries in the first and second phase have all undergone sea time and the new beneficiaries under phase two actually have sea time embedded in their own package. Under the new improved NSDP package,NIMASA has sponsored over 400 young Nigerians to seek careers at sea as seafarers while noting the fact that over 800 out of the 2000 who commenced the first phase are now gainfully employed by multinationals and some onboard vessels.
Also the Maritime Academy of Nigeria Oron in Akwa Ibom has benefited immensely from the current leadership at NIMASA. With the Agency investing without fail 5% of its revenue annually in the institution, MAN Oron can now boast of state of the art equipment including simulators to train cadets and extend the same to other institutions in Nigeria.
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