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Multilateral cooperation key to vessel safety, marine resources utilisation

L-R: DG, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku
Peterside; Commandant, National Defence College, Abuja, Rear Admiral Adeniyi
Osinowo; and Chairman, NIMASA Board, General Jonathan India Garba (rtd), at a
lecture on Maritime Safety and Shipping Development in Nigeria: Challenges and
Prospects by Dakuku at the National Defence College, in Abuja recently.

Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
(NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, says the agency has created operational
conditions that have prompted a turnaround in prospects for maritime safety and
successful utilisation of the country’s enormous marine resources.

stated this in Abuja last week while delivering a lecture on “Maritime Safety
and Shipping Development in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects,” at the National
Defence College.

said NIMASA’s Total Spectrum Maritime Security Strategy had engendered
significant improvement in maritime safety and security in the

The other measures adopted by the agency to better the state of
safety and security in the marine environment, he said,
include acquisition and utilisation of marine technology infrastructure
(maritime domain awareness); improved compliance monitoring and enforcement
activities; training/re-training; and conscious efforts to ensure adequate
funding for the maritime sector.

NIMASA, he said, “We have moved from enforcement to education and
enlightenment, to get operators to understand why they should comply with the
rules and the risks in not complying, as well as help them to comply.”

further at the event, which had participation from several African countries,
Dakuku called for multilateral cooperation, especially among African countries,
to ensure vessel safety and enhance opportunities for the exploitation of
marine resources, saying maritime security is a global problem.

perhaps, is the most globalised of all great industries in the world.
Approximately 90% of world trade is transported by ships. Such as the case of
Nigeria, this figure is close to 95%. There are over 50,000 merchant ships
trading internationally today, manned by more than a million seafarers and
carrying every kind of cargo. Thus, the safety of vessels is critical to the
global economy,” he stated.

said maritime safety had moved from the approach of tending to react to marine incidents
only after their occurrence to a proactive regime entailing the prior
initiation of solutions based on risk analysis.

DG said research had shown that most maritime accidents in Nigeria resulted
from human factors, stressing that industry actors have a greater role to play
in the new approach to maritime safety, as they have a better control over the
human elements.
He said NIMASA was tackling the human factors that could
imperil shipping in the country through its improved enforcement and monitoring

the role of the human factor in the efforts to ensure safety of vessels, Dakuku
said a study of marine accidents/incidents in Nigeria between 2016 and 2018
showed that 38 per cent resulted from collision (poor vessel traffic) – human
error; 19 per cent resulted from fire explosion; 12 per cent was due to
capsize; grounding and sinking accounted for eight per cent each; and oil spill
caused 15 per cent.

identified the challenges associated with maritime safety and shipping development
in Nigeria to include poor compliance with regulations, insufficient manning,
professional competence issues, lack of capital, piracy, inadequate
technological infrastructure, and pollution.

stated, “NIMASA has continuously dealt with safety challenges in the context of
operations, management, surveying, ship registration, and the role of

“Since international maritime safety has moved from a largely
prescriptive and reactive safety scheme to a risk-based proactive regime, responsibility
for safety is being placed on those in the industry to set out and create new
perspectives on risk-based decision making.

the way forward would be to adopt a Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) framework
for maritime safety management.”

said the FSA framework consisted of five key steps, namely, identification of
hazards, assessment of risks associated with the hazards, finding ways of
managing the risks, analysis of the risk control options (RCOs), and deciding
on the options to select.

five-step process covers all aspects of safety analysis and suggesting suitable
safeguards against all major and minor areas,” Dakuku said.

also disclosed that the six fast intervention security vessels, which
NIMASA leased under its maritime security strategy project, had made tremendous

The initiative helped to increase Port State Inspection by 10.53 per
cent in 2017, from 475 in 2016 to 525 in 2017. It also facilitated an upswing
in Flag State Inspection, from 77 in 2016, to 98 in 2017, representing a 27 per
cent increase. He said the rise in PSI and FSI had continued.

his own remarks, Commandant of the National Defence College, Rear Admiral
Adeniyi Osinowo, also emphasised the importance of maritime cooperation among
African countries, particularly in the Gulf of Guinea, saying this is key to
their maritime security, safety and development.

said in African there used to have excessive focus on land, with little or no
interest in activities in the sea. But increased political contacts among
African leaders, according to him, have transformed that to “wealth blindness”.

blindness in the sense that there is so much in the maritime environment in
terms of economic resources and activities that could solve practically 70 to
80 per cent of our national economic problems. Our ability to explore and
exploit the related opportunities are part of the problems,” he

present at the lecture included Chairman, NIMASA Board, General Jonathan India
Garba (rtd), members of the agency’s management team, and course participants
of the National Defence College.

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