The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has stated that the growth potential and high expectations of maritime stakeholders for the industry would only be realized through the development of a system of harmonized Port State Control inspection procedures for West and Central Africa.He made the assertion while addressing Chief Executives of all Maritime Administrations signatory to the Abuja MoU at the International Maritime Organization (IMO), organized workshop on Port State Control for West and Central African Region.
The IMO partners the Memorandum of Understanding, Abuja MoU, in organizing the regional workshop for heads of maritime administrations in Lagos.
Dr. Jamoh, who was represented by the Agency’s Executive Director, Operations, Mr. Shehu Ahmed, identified the importance of effective Port State Control systems to the efficient running of member states’ Maritime Administrations.
According to him, “As we all know, Port State Control provisions are featured in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provision under the duties and responsibilities of Flag states, Coastal states and Port states and it is also highlighted under-enforcement in all major IMO and some ILO conventions.
“This function entails the enforcement of applicable conventions of the IMO and ILO that have been cascaded down to us as signatory states for domestication through our national laws.
“It would interest you to know that NIMASA executes four legal instruments in keeping with our international obligations – The Merchant Shipping Act; the NIMASA Act; the Cabotage Act and the most recent being the SPOMO Act for the suppression of piracy and other maritime offences.”
While declaring NIMASA’s unflinching commitment to Abuja MoU in its focus on reduction of substandard ships, curbing marine pollution and ensuring good working conditions of crew members onboard ships within member states’ waters, Jamoh urged 22- member countries of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control (Abuja MoU) to improve on their financial contributions to the organisation
Also speaking at the event was the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, who represented the Vice Chairman of Abuja MoU and Honourable Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi commended the organizers of the training/workshop for their commitment to developing the most critical resource of all, that being the human element.
On his part, the Secretary-General of the Abuja MoU, Captain Sunday Umoren identified the need for continuous capacity building and networking initiatives in order to gain the support of top maritime administrations (MARADS), thereby promoting productive working relationships which would in turn, benefit the maritime industries in member states as well as collectively.
Captain Umoren, disclosed that
He said detentions are not the best parameters to measure port state control efficiency.
The Abuja MoU is one of the nine Regional MoUs and one national MoU established pursuant to IMO Resolution A.682(17) of 1991.
The Organization operates under a Cooperative Agreement with the IMO and was established on 22nd October 1999 as an inter-governmental body comprising maritime administrations of countries abutting the Atlantic coast of Africa.
Customs, UN agency collaborate to fight smuggling
“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely.”
He appreciated how they traveled from afar to inform the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started yielding positive results in suppressing the menace of smuggling.
The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its work by introducing related courses to officers.
The CGC appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN—Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future.
He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.
He underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.
On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”
According to him, they decided to visit the Ag. CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.
He appreciated the Service for being a “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.
UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action to create sustainable cities and promote viable urban development and adequate shelter for all.
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