09 March 2016, Lagos – The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has said that an audit of the maritime sector will commence soon following the discrepancies discovered in the sector.
The minister, who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the Regional Training workshop on Port State Control on Monday, in Lagos, noted that the audit would reveal unlawful acts perpetrated in the sector as well as detect all the culprits.
Although the minister declined to mention when the audit would commence, he promised to take necessary actions based on its findings.
Amaechi said all hands were on deck to ensure that the industry was revamped to significantly boost its contributions to the economy.
The minister noted that his aim was to make the maritime sector viable in order to attract investments and to ensure that all Nigerians benefit from the maritime sector instead of just few.
Earlier in his keynote address, the minister stressed that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has established that most National Maritime Administrations cannot guarantee that all ships under their flag are in full compliance with all the requirements contained in the instruments to which the Flag State is a party, hence the need for Port State Control.
He said: “This laudable capacity building initiative is aimed at eliminating substandard ships in the West and Central African Region by equipping spectors to update their knowledge and enhance the general drive towards building a robust and effective maritime safety regime in the West and Central African Region.”
Also speaking at the event, the acting Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, stated that the agency has taken deliberate steps to tackle the problem of insufficient number of Port State Control Officers.
He said: “The agency has embarked on human capacity development to increase the number of surveyors and their competence. This we have done by providing conditions to attract qualified professionals in the short term while pressing on with our Seafarers Development Program intended to provide longer term measures.
“As we strive to build the required capacity to meet the Domestic and International obligations aimed at making our waterways safe and devoid of pollution from vessels, our collective determination and activities must earn us positive assessment amongst the comity of Nations.”
- This Day