The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has expressed Nigeria’s commitment to greater collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to develop the maritime industry.
This is contained in a statement by the Head, Corporate Communication Team of NIMASA, Hajia Lami Tumaka, on Monday in Lagos, a copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The minister expressed the commitment when he paid a courtesy visit to the Secretary-General of the IMO, Kitack Lim, recently in London.
Amaechi commended IMO for the technical assistance rendered to Nigeria and called for more cooperation in the areas of combating piracy and maritime education.
The minister told the IMO secretary- general that “Nigeria has already put in place action plans and initiatives through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).”
Amaechi said the action plans were for the implementation of the Code of Conduct entered into by the Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS, Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission on the fight against piracy, sea robbery and other maritime crimes.
To make Nigerian ports safer for international trade, the minister said that the Security Assessment Checklist of the International Ship and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code were continually receiving adequate attention by both NIMASA and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
He also assured the IMO scribe that the findings and observations of the recently-concluded IMO Member States Audit Scheme (IMSAS) of Nigeria “is being studied.
“This is with a view to preparing and implementing Corrective Action Plans (CAPs) within the stipulated time frame,” NAN quotes the minster as saying.
The minister also called for greater technical cooperation with the IMO with a view to reviewing programmes and curriculum of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom,
According to him, this is in compliance with the 2010 Amendments to STCW and support to secure sea time training for graduates of the maritime academy.
Amaechi also requested for a technical advice in converting the academy to a degree-awarding institution and greater involvement of the IMO in building capacities of the Academy’s instructors.
Responding, the IMO secretary-general, commended Nigeria for its commitment toward meeting the obligations of the IMO and other international organisations.
The secretary-general assured the minister of the cooperation of the IMO in the areas of continuous training on Maritime Security, Search and Rescue (SAR), Port State Control (PSC) and capacity building for Instructors of MAN, Oron.
He said that sea time training had become a global concern, adding that the IMO would reach out to shipping companies toward engaging the academy’s cadets on board vessels.
The minister was accompanied to the IMO by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, and Nigeria’s Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Diko Bala.