By Steve Agbota
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has concluded pans for the flag-off of an intensive wreck removal exercise in Nigerian waters.
The Agency’s Director-General, Dr Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this during a Ministerial retreat organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) in Lagos.
Dr. Jamoh also said arrangements had been concluded for the recycling of wrecks and derelicts recovered from the waters in partnership with Bayelsa State Government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which already has a foundry in Lagos for wrecks recycling, with the ultimate aim of creating wealth from waste while providing jobs for Nigerians.
Speaking at the opening of the retreat, Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, said the two-day event was organised to assess the performance of the Agencies under the Ministry in order to enhance efficiency of service delivery to Nigerians.
Amaechi stated: “We are here to assess the progress made so far in the maritime sector in order to enhance efficiency in our operations.
“This administration has achieved a lot in areas, such as rail transportation, port operations, maritime safety, and security, among others, and our goal is to do more to enhance productivity.”
However, the NIMASA DG appreciated the Minister for approving the creation of the Maritime Intelligence Unit and the NIMASA Maritime Stakeholders Experience Contact Centre (MSECC), which are both initiatives to improve intelligence gathering and enhance stakeholders’ communication to ensure sustainable growth of the country’s maritime industry.
He also disclosed that the automation drive in the Agency had led to the integrated use of technology in the Certificate of Competency (CoC) verification process, which has seen a fall in manual verification practice.
Jamoh said: “In 2020, the number of manual verification of CoCs dropped from 4,112 in 2019 to 2,750, representing 33 per cent drop in manual certificate verification. There was a total online verification of 9,723 in 2020.”
On disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), Jamoh said NIMASA was working with the Ministry to resolve all grey areas and ensure seamless distribution of the Fund.