NIMASA Requires More Than Technicalities To Deliver IMO Seat

Consecutive failures of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to earn Nigeria the Category “C” Seat of the International Maritime Organisation has indicated that the Agency requires more than technicalities to deliver the seat.

This could be fundamental but strategic. Matter of concern to all remains why finding it difficult to secure the International Seat again. Can we retrace how we lost the seat in the first instance and why the continuous failure?

It is imperative that the Maritime Apex Institution prepares parameter needed to succeed which technical assessment is key. The level of security in the maritime domain is expected to be improved upon in terms of manning, monitoring and responsiveness to matters of concern.

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Come to think of it, what is the workability status of the communication gadgets at its command and control stations as well as the signal strength to guarantee effective communications between the Control and the Sub-Stations? A lot of questions are left unanswered.

In the case of emergency, how responsive is the Agency and the security operatives? A situation where a distress call is treated as urgent and important is mostly required.

In as much as the provision of necessary apparatus for security and Medical support are important, behavior of the officials cannot be undermined. We need to recall that those vessels calling at the nation’s ports give feedback of their experiences on our territorial waters.

The quality of representation at the International Maritime Organization’s Assembly is another area to look into. Fixing some positions with political sentiment will not do us any benefit. Such representation can only fit a personality who can project the country based on his/her technical-knowledge of the industry and making efficient contribution to the decisive decision on the floor of the Assembly.

Consulting with the past Alternative Representatives to the IMO to drawing from their wealth of experience may help such a representative, if a self-worth will allow. In the past, Government Agencies consulted with Industry key players in taking decision as it is related to various fields of operations.

The Government Agencies even allowed the professionals to be part of their delegations when going for international discourse where professionalism will be highly displayed.

Such arrangement allows the Government Officials to interface but being energized by the technocrats in the team. In the long run, builds more confidence, enhances the knowledge across the board in terms of sharing and strengthen the unity within the industry.

The welfare of the people living within the villages surrounding the ports should be a concern in order to curb crimes like piracy attacks on ships and armed robbery on the sea. Some funds can be earmarked as nuisance value to handle these inhabitants to gaining their cooperation and guide against their villages being used as hideouts for pirates and other criminals.

In addition, the ways and manners of handling litigation matters involving ships and maritime related offences and crimes are seriously for attention.

The implication of this is the high shipping charges to our ports compared to other regional ports — to be discussed some other time but there is the need to address the above stricture to earn the Seat again and again.

We may recall that at a particular time, the seat was our place of abode in the Assembly and must be recaptured.

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