The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured stakeholders in its Eastern Zonal Operations that the era of being tossed between the Zonal Office and the Head Office is over as the Agency has concluded plans to restructure its operations for optimal performance.
The new structure is expected to grant the Zonal Offices greater autonomy to initiate, process and conclude critical transactions like ship registration, sailing clearance and other associated operations in the Zones without recourse to the Head Office.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said this while addressing concerns of stakeholders in Port Harcourt as part of his working visit to the operational offices of the Agency.
The DG who explained that the Agency is being restructured, repositioned and reorganised for greater productivity and efficiency also observed that the reform is expected to give the Zonal offices more powers to execute the mandate of the Agency effectively and eliminate the bottlenecks currently associated with the processes.
He noted that stakeholders need not worry about bureaucratic bottlenecks in the operations of the Agency as all of these are being taken care of.
“Most of our operations now are going to reside in the zones. And that you don’t need to come to Lagos now for anything at all. Apart from the fact that we are devolving more powers to the Zones, we are automating all our processes. You don’t need the Head Office, you don’t need anybody once we conclude the automation of our processes” the DG said.
“If you want to register a Cabotage vessel, you simply go online, provide all the documents you need, make your payment online and of course you get an interim certificate or a provisional certificate. With your provisional certificate, after sometime you can walk into any NIMASA Zonal Office and get your original certificate. That’s our dream for NIMASA and by the special grace of God after one month, we hope that that process will be in place” Dr. Peterside assured.
The DG also promised the stakeholders that the automation process will be holistic. He said things like discharge book and certificates of competency can be verified online ones the system is up and running.
While acknowledging the initial challenges with printing Discharge Books which the he noted are akin to the international passport because of their security features, Dr. Peterside said that the teething problems have now been overcome both at the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC). He therefore assured stakeholders that the difficulty associated with getting the document will be a thing of the past in another one month.
On the issue of sea time training for Nigerian cadets, Dr. Peterside noted that the Agency is committed to growing human capacity in the industry and has already devised a number of initiatives where the cadets of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP) will get sea time experience to enable them get gainful employment.
Dr. Peterside assured the stakeholders there is a new spirit in NIMASA that is determined to return the Agency to the performance of its core mandate. He observed that the new Management of the Agency is conversant with the fact that the Nigerian maritime industry cannot get the required development if NIMASA does not get its act together.
The engagement with the stakeholders which held at the Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt is one of the high points of the Executive Management’s visit to the Eastern Zonal operations of the Agency.