*As NIMASA unveils new certificates, to attract international vessels
Lagos — The Federal government yesterday commenced moves to establish a second Ship Registry with a view to enhancing the nation’s ship registry and making it more robust.
Nigeria is currently operating a closed Ship Registry which restricts registration to only vessels flying the nation’s flag. The proposed second registry will be an open one so as to attract international vessels.
Disclosing this at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos recently, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said that both Registries will provide Nigeria with greater participation in international shipping, in addition to raising the national revenue base.
He further disclosed that his agency has phased out the old ship registry certificate in favour of a new one to promote the integrity of the certificate as a way of raising Nigerian flag to attract global patronage.
He explained that the status of the Nigerian closed ship registry is now better positioned to compete internationally having passed through a comprehensive restructuring under a ministerial committee set up by the minister of transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi.
Petetside explained that the restructuring ensured that the Nigerian ship registry is audited and the processes automated, noting that the effort is to promote the quality and integrity of the Nigerian Ship Flag and urged local ship owners to fly and promote Nigerian ship flag.
In addition Peterside said ship owners expectations from the ship registry will aide the agency in repositioning the registry for better performance and improved status.
He said NIMASA is in the process of getting the ISO 2015 Certification which will make Nigeria the first maritime nation East and West Africa to operate the most modern ship certification.
He stated: “What we have been able to do is to upgrade the ship registry. Our goal is that with the improvements, we can now operate world class ship registry that is globally attractive.
“We are considering opening a second registry which will be open and will attract international patronage.
“What we have done is to audit the Nigerian registered vessels. The old ship certificate will be phased out gradually and the features of the new certificate promote industry and partnership.”
Chairman of the Ship Registry Reform Committee, Engr. Emmanuel llori, presenting an update on their mandate, said the current leadership of NIMASA has created the needed confidence to expand the growth of the Nigerian ship flag internationally.