The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is fast taking a new phase as the new administration of Dr Bashir Jamoh’s who had just recorded his first 100 days in office is set to rejig the sector to a more coordinated maritime Security, Safety and Shipping Development domain.
With a well detailed plan of achievable policies and programmes targeted to change the disruption of the Nigerian Maritime industry, through Shipping Development, Safety and Security of the Nigerian Maritime domain and provision of job opportunities, financing in order to create opportunities for Nigerians.
Rolling out the scorecard for his first 100 days in office, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Yusuf Jamoh with his Executive Directors said the agency is now repositioned to tackle the myriads of challenges facing the sector head long and make it lucrative for maritime business to strife.
While briefing the media on Thursday at the agency headquarter in Lagos, Jamoh disclosed that the agency is engaging all stakeholders, including the media to rejig the industry for grater performance.
He disclosed that a total of 27 alleged pirates were apprehended in the last three months of his administration, 17 of which are in the custody of the Nigerian Police, while 10 were arrested by the Nigerian Navy in Collaboration with the agency and they are facing prosecution in accordance with the anti piracy law.
Meanwhile according to him, since 2016, not until last two months , no single pirate has been arrested in Nigerian waters. the feat, he said, was achieved by a joint efforts of the NIMASA, Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Police, narrating that every agency involved share information at different levels which led to the arrest of the culprits.
He added that 156 personnel comprising of NIMASA staff, Navy, Police and NPA have so far been trained to battle criminality in Nigerian waters, adding that each of the agencies all have their own platforms , but are working together to harmonised all the platforms so as to have a more coordinated strategy.
He explained that the NIMASA Regional Maritime Coordination Centre (RMCC) located at Kirikiri area of Lagos state which is suppose to coordinate maritime information among Nine African Countries in the West and Central African region will be functioning by September.
In the area of shipping development and disbursement of CVFF, Jamoh hinted that before the end of October 2020, the first leg of beneficiaries of the Cabotage Vessels Financing Fund (CVFF) will get their funds, disclosing that he has just been appointed the Chairman of the CVFF disbursement committee by the Minister of Transportation and work are in progress for the disbursement of the fund.
As regards the deployment NIMASA controversial floating dock, Jamoh said that the agency and NPA are almost finalising arrangements to deploy the floating dock to the Continental Shipyard owned by the NPA under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.
He added that already oil/gas majors are ready to dry docked their ships with the facility and is expected to generate over N1billion annually and over 350 workers will be employed, adding that the floating dock will serve Nigeria foreign exchange and generate more revenue to government as well as served as seatime training of Cadets in mechanical and electrical fields.
Concerning the deep blue project, the agency boss said , “over 85% of the project have been achieved. Out of the 17 Special Mission Vessels ordered, 14 have arrived,the armoured vehicles are ready, two Special Mission Aircraft are expected in October, while the three Special Mission Helicopters ordered are expected to arrived in January 2021”
Dr Jamoh however went memory lane by saying that , the Global West Vessels Limited who were formerly contracted by the agency to provide platforms, generate revenue under “No Cure, No Pay” and tackle piracy in Nigerian waters had 25 boats and that some of the boats are in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation.
Based on this, he disclosed that the agency went to ground zero in terms of platforms and equipment to fight piracy. But he assured with the arrival of these platforms the agency is set to battle criminality in Nigeria waters and generate more revenue, emphasising also that, the Deep Blue Project will provide training and employment to the teaming Nigeria youths.
He said the only aspect of the project remaining now is the training of personnel that will manned the platforms, as according to him due to the Covid19 pandemic, the training could have commenced which comprises of both foreign and local trainings.
He however hinted that the agency has presented a proposal to the Transportation Minister for approval of COVID-19 palliatives and incentives for maritime operators and hopes it will be approved, assuring that if palliatives are being approved for other sectors of the economy, he believe the maritime industry needs incentives to cushion the effect of the Corona virus pandemic.
While calling on the maritime media to be objective in reporting the sector, he said ” If we do well tell the world. If we fail, tell us”