The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh has urged members of the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control for the West and Central African Region, generally referred to as Abuja MoU to focus more on employment, training and retention of qualified Port State Control Officers and Surveyors.
In his Goodwill Message during the IMO/Abuja MoU Workshop For Heads Of Maritime Administration In West and Central Africa which was held in Lagos on Monday, Jamoh explained that the dynamics of the shipping industries in West and Central Africa need everybody to be fully and regularly on top of their game.
Jamoh said, “My task today is not to lecture this August gathering about the details of our functions as MARADS and the obligations we owe to our various national and regional domains as parties to the Abuja MoU. Rather, it is to awaken us all to the ever dynamic realities needed to navigate the challenges and harness the opportunities of Port State Control in our region.
“I cannot complete my message of goodwill without yet again expressing our nation’s gratitude to the International Maritime Organization for supporting the Abuja MoU request through the Technical Cooperation for this program to be held. I personally acknowledge my fellow DGs and CEOs of the 21 Maritime Administrations in the West and Central African Region for making time to attend this workshop. It is no doubt a great sacrifice of executive time given the very busy nature of our schedules as managers of our respective maritime domains.
“Let me assure you that as the Chief Executive of NIMASA, our commitment to the Abuja MoU remains resolute and our participation shall remain unwavering. The current Secretary-General and the Federal Ministry of Transport can attest to the fact that we have never turned down any request to support this collaboration.
”Let us renew our resolve to collectively ensure the following as hitherto agreed upon; The minimum percentage (15%) of foreign vessels that should be inspected in our individual maritime domains. The stipulated financial contributions of members which is currently below expectations as I am told that less than a tenth of our members is responsive. The employment, training and retention of qualified Port State Control (PSC) Officers and Surveyors, and attendance and hosting of the committee and other meetings.
“On our part, we shall continue to work with Abuja MoU, the Federal Ministry of Transport and IMO to ensure that the Port State Control regime achieves the set objectives of maritime Safety and protection of our marine environment, while not losing sight of the thin line between maritime security and maritime safety.” he said.
In his own speech, the Secretary-General of the Abuja MoU, Captain Sunday Umoren explained that the reason for the training is to improve the networking loop of all the MARADs in the West and Central African region.
In the words of the Abuja MoU Scribe, “This training is aimed at ultimately obtaining the unlimited support of the Policy Makers who will, in turn, hold the officers on the scene (PSCOs) accountable thereby improving the efficacies of the regime.
“I should hasten to add that we are not unaware of the fact that all of you have unquestionable skill levels in the expectations of PSC regimes. This brings us to the other reason for the training, which is to improve the networking loop of all the MARADs in our region recalling that there might arise at any time, a need to seek the assistance of the next Member State to apprehend an errant vessel.
“This is in the spirit of Section 1 Commitments under sub-section 1..4 which states: ‘Each Authority will consult, cooperate and exchange information with the other Authorities in order to further the aims of the Memorandum.” We are expectant that as a consequence of this workshop, the task of making the call to that next Administration would be considerably simpler.”