….Boats Named After Buhari, Amaechi, Saraki, Otunba Folarin
By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under it’s Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh has taken it’s mandate of maritime safety and security to a top notch with the commissioning of 5 state-of-the-art patrol boats, 5 Refurbished Search and Rescue/Pollution Control Boats and 4 staff ferries with 35 seater.
Other key NIMASA infrastructures that were commissioned are; the renovated Administrative Block, the NIMASA Multipurpose Hall and the NIMASA Search and Rescue Clinic of the Nigerian Maritime Resources Development Centre, NIMASA Search and Rescue Base Clinic at Azare Crescent Apapa, and Communication Gadgets for enhanced maritime security.
The agency also carried out a groundbreaking ceremony at the construction site of the NIMASA Skill Acquisition Centre, Apapa Lagos.
The five new security boats were christened in the name of President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Gbemi Saraki, former Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo and Dr Bashir Jamoh.
The four staff ferries were also named after: Yemisi Folasade, Otunba Kunle Folarin, Alhaji Lawal Keitta, Boss Mustapha, Magdalene Ajani and Hon Linda Ikpeazu
Speaking at the commissioning of the project at the NIMASA Resource Development Centre in Kirikiri Lagos on Sunday, Minister of Transportation, Eng Muazu Jaji Sambo commended NIMASA DG, Dr Bashir Jamoh for the successful delivery of these projects which according to him, will serve the good people of the Nigeria.
According to him, the five new patrol boats will ensure strict compliance and adherence with the extant laws governing the operations of the Maritime Domain.
“These platforms will give NIMASA the much-needed tools required to function as a Maritime Administration in line with the protocols and conventions of the International Maritime Organization and International Labour Organization to which NIMASA represents Nigeria as its contracting government.
On the 4 Staff Ferries, Sambo said these Ferries were acquired to increase the overall efficiency and productivity of the staff of the Agency, by creating a more conducive means of transportation to and from official assignments, thereby bypassing the hassles that are associated with the operational terrain of the Ports.
“The completion of the just mentioned projects by NIMASA shows the agency’s commitment to ensuring the safety and security of Nigerian waters, as the newly renovated Administrative block will create a conducive work environment, thereby increasing the productivity of the staff, the Search and Rescue Clinics will enable the agency to fulfil its obligations to seafarers and the general public by providing top-notch medical care facilities, and the newly acquired Communication Gadgets will enable the agency’s enforcement and search and rescue operators communicate in real-time without any hindrance or interference while conducting their operations at sea.
“As the supervisory Ministry, we will continue to give our support to NIMASA as she continues down this commendable path to ensuring the growth of maritime in Nigeria” Sambo stated
Earlier in his opening address, Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh explained reasons for the acquisition of the maritime infrastructures.
He said “The inclusion of the Security/Patrol boats along with the Search and Rescue/Pollution control boats to the Deep Blue Project assets are particularly with intent to intensify the internal security of the waterways with the inclusion of the Pollution control boats taking into cognizance the recent proliferation of oil theft.
“The Search and Rescue clinic has also become quite important as cases of seafarers who experience attack need emergency medical attention and we have to be prompt so as to ensure their safety and survival”
“The Search and Rescue Clinic is manned by specially skilled medical personnel and same gives us the confidence with regards to guaranteeing the survival.
“The administrative building on the other hand is built with intent to improve the service delivery of NIMASA for efficient shipping activities particularly as NIMASA is targeting an improved ship registry”
Also speaking, Deputy Chairman of Senate Committee on Maritime Transport, Senator Tolu Odebiyi commended Dr Bashir Jamoh for his giant strides at NIMASA.
“For us at the Senate, these are the kind of things that gladens our hearts, when there is a clear vision, and it is well articulated, and we can see that there is a need and benefits for it, be rest assured that we would give it our support.
“The supports that we have given this project, especially the Deep Blue Project manifests itself here”
Odebiyi said the assets would continue to protect Nigeria maritime domain.
On her part, Chairman, House Committee onon Maritime Safety and Education, Hon Linda Ikpeazu commended Dr Jamoh for being a focused administrator.
She charged Dr Jamoh to draw out a sustainable maintenance plan for the various infrastructures that were commissioned, even as she charged NIMASA staff to ensure they put the assets into good use.
Other stakeholders who took turns to speak at the event were; President of Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Alhaji Aminu Umar, Chief Executive Officer of Starz Group, Eng Greg Ogbeifun and representative of the Spanish Ambassador to Nigeria, Thomas Fernandez.
Other stakeholders present are; Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA) top member and Chief Executive Officer, Oceanic Energy Limited, Capt. Taiwo Akinpelumi; 2nd Vice President of the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) and Assistant Chaplain of the Management Committee of Mission To Seafarers (MTS) Lagos, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori; among others.