Determined to enhance the level of security in the nation’s seaports, especially in line with international best practices, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, has approved a unified biometric identity card for operatives and workers to access any port facility in Nigeria.
A statement signed by Isichei Osamgbi, head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA, said “it is now compulsory that every port user including workers can only have access into ports on the presentation of the issued unified biometric ID.” The aim, the statement disclosed, is to further boost security at the ports.
On the other hand, Dakuku Peterside, the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said in the same statement that the agency will not rest on its oars until it achieves full compliance to the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
Peterside, who made this assertion during the opening of the ISPS Code Auditors’ Training conducted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in conjunction with NIMASA in Lagos recently, said that NIMASA being the Designated Authority (DA) for the implementation of the code in Nigeria, has embraced relevant trainings to acquaint its staff with the rudiments of ensuring the ports and jetties remain safe for economic activities.
According to him, the training was a follow up to the previous Ports Facilities Security Officers (PFSO’s) Training conducted by the IMO and NIMASA in August, 2016. “This training is a continuation of the series of trainings highlighted for technical support by the IMO for enhancement of Nigeria’s maritime security in line with global best practices.
The training will equip participants with in-depth skills of carrying out audits and further reflect high level compliance by stakeholders.”
While commending other sister parastatals especially the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for their cooperation and dedication towards achieving a safe maritime environment, Peterside said his management would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the Nigerian maritime space is safe and secure for shipping activities.
Brian Cranmer, the IMO lead consultant, responded to the NIMASA boss comments, lauded the Management of NIMASA for its commitment towards ensuring full implementation of the code. He pledged that the IMO will continue to support NIMASA to achieve its targets.
NIMASA was in May, 2013 appointed the DA in charge of the implementation of the ISPS code after the dissolution of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS). The Agency recently received commendations from the US Coast Guard for its drive in the implementation of the code having surpassed the 70 percent benchmark in compliance level.