23 June 2014, Lagos – There were strong indications that vessels entering into Nigerian ports are now compelled to operate on security level 2, in tandem with the requirements of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was said to have begun the move in a bid to meet the demands of the United States of America (USA).
This is coming on the heels of the 22 ports in the country being declared compliant with the provisions of the ISPS Code by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).
The designated authority (DA) in Nigeria, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said in a statement issued in Lagos that these were revealed in an engagement between the officials of the United States government and the agency.
It said the US government acknowledged the efforts of the agency in raising the security levels of ships and port facilities in Nigeria and assured of its commitment to continue to partner with Nigeria to improve security measures.
NPA Assistant General Manager, Public Affairs, Mr. Musa Iliyah who confirmed the immediate implementation of ISPS Code in Nigerian ports said it was a management directive which applies to all ships entering the nation’s seaports or port terminals.
Continuing, Iliyah said: “It is part of the additional security measure taken by management to ensure the strict compliance to the ISPS Code, by all visiting vessels. NPA had also concluded the process of acquiring additional security equipment to enhance the safety and security at the nation’s seaports. The equipment were expected to be fully in place before the end of next September.”
According to him, the equipment which would include X-ray and scanning machines, water front patrol boats, as well as computerized access control gate with CCTV system, would on arrival be distributed and deployed to selected port locations in both the Western and Eastern Ports, particularly, the ports in Apapa, Tin Can Island, Onne, and Delta Ports.
He explained that the provision of these additional security equipment would not only enhance both the safety of port operations and port users at the nation’s ports but would also guarantee the safety of all visiting ships as required by the provisions of the ISPS Code.
Iliyah added that a visit by NPA Managing Director, Alhaji Habib Abdullahi had shown that some terminal operators were already fully in tune with the provisions of the ISPS Code within their domains
– This Day