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Director General of Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that his agency boosted the Federal Single Treasury Account (STA) by contributing N37,691,630,450.02 (N37.6b) to the federation account, compared with N31, 839,917,978.20. (N31.8b) within same period in 2020.
Addressing the maritime media recently, elated Jamoh averred that the Agency’s Marine Accident Investigation Unit also investigated 12 accidents compared with 18 in 2020.
Jamoh who spoke on sundry issues said: “The year 2021 saw the agency paying to the federal government N37,691,630,450.02 and this is from levies and others.”
He explained that the Agency’s target is to attain more than N37billion in 2022: “We believe the N37 billion generated is not our own milestone, we are working hard to ensure we get to the promise land.”
Jamoh noted that some indices recorded in 2021 had to do with the responsibilities of the agency in line with its function on safety, security and marine environment management issues.
Making reference to marine safety, Jamoh said the agency was responsible for Flag State implementation; to inspect, survey vessels in accordance with safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
“Under that survey, we have what we call Condition Survey, which is to ascertain the actual position and condition of our own vessels.
“Compared with the number of vessels surveyed with the flag registration of the previous years, in 2021, we surveyed 489 vessels, which is 43.6 per cent higher than the total number of condition survey carried out in 2020 which was 276.
“This indicates maritime administration’s seriousness in terms of flag state survey even with the global pandemic issues,” he said.
He noted that for Port State Control, which had to do with ensuring that each vessel-maintained safety standards, it was discovered that 249 foreign vessels boarded Nigerian waters.
“For port state control implementation, comparing year 2020 to 2021, it was observed that 2021 recorded 675 vessels that is 24.2 per cent higher than the total number of inspections carried out in 2020 which was 510 vessels.
“This showed an increase performance of 24.2 per cent,” he said.
He raised concerns over the number of failures recorded among Nigerian seafarers who sat for Certificate of Competency examinations.
For examination and certification indices, he said that for officers cadets examination, 829 took the exam, those passed and certified was 264 which shows 32 per cent, 565 failed showing 68 per cent.
He noted that the total revalidation was 246 and this showed a negative effect, adding that the agency was working with the institutions to ensure the gaps were addressed.
“For officers examination, 610 took the exam, 251 passed, which represents 41 per cent; 359 failed to show 59 per cent and total certificate revalidation was 132.
“Officer rating, 1251 sat for the exam, 926 passed, representing 74 per cent and 325 failed to show 26 per cent.
“Examination rating, 1329 sat for the exam, 990 passed while 337 failed to represent 74 and 26 per cent respectively,” he said.
He noted that Online Seafarers’ Certificate of Competency was reactivated and the project had drastically reduced forgery of Nigerian certificates and enhanced the employment of Nigerian seafarers in the maritime sector.
“We have been experiencing rejection and discrimination against Nigerian seafarers by shipowners both locally and internationally and the agency decided to introduce the online certification platform.
“This allows shipowners to access those candidates that passed our examination directly in the comfort of their offices. This will grow the standard of our certification,” he said.
He said due to the drastic increase in the use of barges, the agency introduced safety regulations and the ISO9001 quality assurance certification for the operation of the maritime safety department was also introduced.
He noted that Nigeria signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Marine Transport Coordination Centre towards achieving and preventing marine pollution and control.
For maritime security, Jamoh said the deep Blue project commissioned by President Muhammad Buhari had been deployed to the Nigerian Navy for use.
He said there were plans to activate the marine police to help secure the anchorage area and partner with the National Durg Law Enforcement Agency to inspect vessels to ensure illicit drugs were discovered.
“In 2022, the agency is focused on strengthening maritime safety mechanism, organising stakeholders’ engagement, increase revenue contribution“.