21 December 2016, Sweetcrude, Lagos — THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) on Tuesday shut down three port facilities in Lagos and Rivers State citing non-compliance with the Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS, Code.
The facilities include two in Lagos – Heyden Petroleum Jetty Ijora; Waziri Jetty, Dockyard Road Apapa, and Starz Marine Shipyard Limited in Onne in Rivers State.
While confirming the development, the Head of Public Relations of the agency, Hajia Lami Tumaka said that the jetties and port facilities were shut over non-compliance with the provisions of the code.
She disclosed that the affected facilities have persistently failed to comply with the ISPS code necessitating their closure to forestall a situation where security breaches in such facilities will negatively impact those in compliance.
“These closures are in exercise of the Agency’s powers in line with provisions of Part VIII of the ISPS Code Implementation Regulations 2014 under which the facilities were adjudged to be non-compliant despite repeated warnings to remedy the deficiencies.
“NIMASA has consistently stated its commitment to the enforcement of full compliance with the ISPS Code especially in the face of growing terrorists’ activities globally.
“Ultimately all of us are working for a common purpose, a safer world through safety and security of the maritime sub-sector.
“If we fix our different corners of the earth, the whole world will be safer for everybody. And so no effort should be spared in trying to guarantee safety and security”.
“All shut facilities are to remain closed until the managers of such facilities correct the identified deficiencies in line with the dictates of the Code as the Agency aims to achieve 100% compliance with the cooperation of all stakeholders. This exercise is a continuous one,” Tumaka said.
Reacting to the closure of the facilities, Vice Chairman of the Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) forum, Dr. Zeb Ikokide said that the agency should not have shut down the facilities considering the volume of investment at stake.
He also said the forum can only advise members on how best to ensure compliance with the ISPS Code at their facilities, noting that the decision on how to proceed rests with the investors.
Ikokide faulted the high commendation the United States Coast Guard gave to NIMASA since as many as 4 facilities have been found to have fallen short of the prescribed standards.
On his part, the Secretary of the Forum, Ignatius Uche commended NIMASA for the closure saying that “it is good for both the port industry and the Forum.
Uche noted that the closure should serve as a red alert to other facilities that have refused to update the security of their facilities.