The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Security Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said that the implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, ISPS, is a major part of the security architecture that NIMASA is implementing in the Nigerian maritime domain. Jamoh said this during the audience reception of the deputy head of the international maritime security operations team, IMSOT, Jim Hamilton, who led a team on a working visit to assess the level of compliance of certain facilities. ports in the country with the ISPS code.
The DG, who was represented by the Agency’s Executive Director of Operations, Mr. Shehu Ahmed, noted that the importance of effective implementation of the ISPS Code regime cannot be overstated. This, he said, compelled the Nigerian government to incorporate the implementing regulations of the ISPS code since 2014, bearing in mind that it is an integral aspect of the SOLAS convention for the safety of life at sea. He also welcomed the IMSOT peer review mechanism.
“At NIMASA, we have such a peer review agreement with the United States Coast Guard, which has been very effective in building ISPS code implementation capacity. We are working to extend the relationship to other countries. We believe this will ensure that our staff have the skills and competencies required to fulfill their responsibilities in accordance with the mandate of ICIR 2014. The importance of our staff’s exposure to the legal regimes and security operations of other contracting governments is not lost. on us,” he said.
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While assuring the team that steps have been taken to address concerns raised during his last visit in 2018, the DG of NIMASA informed the IMSOT team that the Agency is also taking steps to address the activities of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea via the federal government’s Deep Blue Initiative project, in addition to the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offenses Act (SPOMO), which is gradually yielding results.
Speaking after a working visit to some port facilities in Lagos, Deputy Head of the International Maritime Security Operations Team, IMSOT, Jim Hamilton expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation and synergy that exists between government agencies of the Nigerian maritime industry, adding that they will share their knowledge. with NIMASA to ensure optimal implementation of the ISPS Code in Nigeria.
Hamilton also expressed IMSOT’s willingness to share insights on its operations in the United Kingdom (UK) and train Agency staff to foster better cooperation with Nigeria.
“The initiative will not only foster collaboration and cooperation through knowledge acquisition and sharing among Member States, but will also consolidate gains in maritime security implementation and identify areas of improvement for both. parts,” he said.