Even as Nigeria prepares to relaunch itself into the Category C’ of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) there are indications that the country’s chances are getting brighter as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) yesterday dragged some of the biggest players in world shipping into its ship registry implementation committee.
The election to Category “C” of the Council of IMO for the period 2020-2021, would be held during the 31stRegular Session of the IMO Assembly, from 25th November to 5th December 2019 in London, United Kingdom.
Apparently as part of its preparations, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) yesterday in Apapa Lagos inaugurated the implementation monitoring committee for the Nigerian ship register with world known classification society, Lloyd’s Register, DNV GL, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) listed as members.
The committee is headed by Eng Emmanuel Ilori, while other members were also drawn from Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) Bourbon Energy, among others.
While inaugurating the committee in Apapa Lagos yesterday, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside issued the terms of reference for the committee to include;
“Review the Recommendations of the Committee and extract immediately, actionable items on short, medium and long term basis for Executive Management consideration and approval”
“Undertake any other task relating to the implementation of the Committee’s report as may be directed by the Executive Management”
Peterside who was represented by the Executive Director Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services noted the Ship Registry, commonly referred to as the “FLAG” is the face of a nation’s maritime industry and its condition is usually indicative of the status of that country as a maritime nation.
“This is even more so given the fact that the Ship Registry along with the Maritime Safety Department are charged with the onerous responsibility of keeping unseaworthy ships away from the flag”
“It was with the foregoing in mind that the primary Committee was established in February 2018 and its report submitted a couple of weeks back has made far-reaching recommendations which the Director General has promised to implement as best as we can”
Eng Emmanuel Ilori committee is being charged with responsibility of monitoring the implementation of recommendations of an earlier Committee which he had chaired to review the totality of the processes and operations of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office and make recommendations for its reform.
Also speaking at the event, Eng Emmanuel Ilori noted that NIMASA has done a very good job in constituting the implementation monitoring committee to drive the very important process of the ship registry.
According to him, “The Nigerian maritime industry over the years have had several reports, but for once, we are now putting action into reports and we want to see results.The Minister of Transportation and NIMASA DG are two key people who are keeping to their promises in regards to the industry”
“Going forward, we have been charged to implement the report and define the best ways to achieve results and we would do it, this is a commitment I can give on behalf of the members, the result is not just for ourselves, but for the sake of this nation”
“The maritime industry is critical to the development of our economy, it is critical to the creation of jobs, pur national integrity, technical development of our sector, therefore, the job we have been asked to do, we would not take it very lightly”
“To NIMASA, we would challenge you, as we bring recommendations to you for actions, you would have to make sure that they come to fruition to ensure the industry is turned around once and for all”
“Incidentally, this year, Nigeria is going back to the IMO Council, and the Ship Registry is one of the key part of that process, so we would try not to fail you” he assured.
“We know that with NLNG coming onboard, hopefully we will not fail you because we have millions of tonnages there that should be flying Nigerian flag”
“They are now part of the Implementation Committee, so whatever challenges NLNG is having that is preventing them from putting these ships in the Nigerian flag, we would make sure we work with them to resolve these challenges, they are now part of the solution”
“We are happy to have NCDMB onboard too because their positive actions in recent times we know, we would see a turn around in the number of ships flying Nigerian flag” he assured