Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has expressed the desire of the agency to put the necessary building blocks in place to ensure that Nigeria becomes the first African country to achieve a five star International Standards Certification by 2020.This is even as he declared that the agency’s target is to have a world-class ship registry that will meet international certification standards and compete favourably with the best in the global maritime community.
Dakuku spoke recently in Lagos while receiving the report of the committee tasked with reviewing the activities and operations of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office.
According to him, “NIMASA is working at giving Nigerians a Ship Registry that is respected across the globe that will be attractive to ship-owners, so they can fly the Nigerian Flag. In no distant future, our ship registry will be more effective, more efficient and responsive to change, thus, meeting international standards for certification,” he said.
The Director-General noted that the agency had already commenced the process of automating the Nigerian Ship Registry. He said from the preliminary report earlier submitted to the Agency, the diligent implementation of the findings of the committee would have a beneficial effect on the Nigerian maritime sector. In his words, “We are putting in place the necessary building blocks for Nigeria to be the first African country to achieve a five star International Standards Certification by 2020. International standard certification for ship registration is our goal at NIMASA.”
Speaking just before submitting the report, the committee chairman, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori, stated that ship registration and the effectiveness of the established processes in a country’s maritime sector operations were critical in determining the health of a national maritime administration.
Ilori said, “All the committee’s efforts were geared towards making the Nigerian flag globally acceptable. The committee carried out an extensive review of the Nigerian Ship Registry, took cognizance of stakeholders’ opinions and expectations, and carried out comparative analysis of the ship registration processes of some Global Registries in arriving at the report. “NIMASA Management should consider and implement submissions contained in the report.”
The terms of reference of the nine-man committee, which was set up in February 2018, included to examine the status of the ship registry in line with international best practices and advise and recommend requisite improvements of necessity in the registry.
The committee was inaugurated on February 27, 2018 to establish a strategy to revamp the Nigerian ship registration process in order to raise the profile of the Nigerian flag in the global maritime space.