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The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has opened up on the embarrassing state of Nigeria and other African ports in terms of operations, infrastructure and administration.
Speaking while delivering a paper on the Significance of Maritime Regulations and Competitiveness of African Ports at the African Port Development Summit in Accra, Ghana on Wednesday, he said “African Ports have fallen far behind our global peers on key performance indicators. Cargo spends nearly three weeks on average in Sub-Saharan African ports, compared to less than a week in large ports in Europe, Latin America and Asia. We are below the global average on three key productivity measures of ports: gross moves per hour, berth moves per hour and man-hours per move”.
The newly elected chairman of Association of African Maritime Agencies (AAMA) noted that “for Port operations on the African continent to experience appreciable improvement, Agencies in the port community must work together to implement integrated and sustainable solutions to the identified challenges”.
He said NIMASA’s commitment is to strengthen the capacity of Ports in Nigeria and enable competitiveness on the African continent via the effective implementation of the Merchant Shipping Act, NIMASA and the Cabotage Act by ensuring that regulating the maritime sector with the use of these instruments does not hinder efficiency and negatively affect business operations in the Ports.
He however revealed that NIMASA has upgraded its surveillance system to 24 hours and can consequently monitor all vessels in the Nigerian Maritime Domain at all times. He also disclosed that the integration of the Agency’s system with the Nigerian Integrated
Customs Information System (NICIS) was part of efforts to forge partnership with key industry stakeholders to enhance efficiency in the Nigerian maritime sector.
According to him, “In a bid to boost investor confidence and benchmark to global standards, NIMASA actively ensures compliance and implementation of the International Ship and Ports Facility Security Code (ISPS) Code, our compliance level is now over 90%. We also enforce industry compliance on all relevant IMO and ILO conventions. Compliance on international regulation is to ensure safety in port operations, and ease of doing business in Nigeria”.
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