18 August 2015, Lagos – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, detained a total of 63 substandard vessels on account of structural and operational deficiencies in 2014.
Disclosing these to Vanguard in Lagos, the General Secretary of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, Mrs Mfon Ekong Usoro said that by this feat, Nigeria is leading other African countries in the West and Central African regions in the enforcement of Port State Control.
Usoro said Nigeria has more Port State Control enforcement officers than any other country in Africa, adding that the development will not only increase the confidence of the international shipping community, but will also lead to more quality vessels calling at the nation’s ports.
“The implication is that there will be lower risk of pollution on our waters, and if a substandard vessel is detained, Nigeria will ensure that such vessel is repaired thereby creating more jobs for our dockyards and marine engineers,” she said.
Speaking on the development, the President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, NAMM, Captain Ade Olopoenia told Vanguard that the achievement could be attributed to the high number of master mariners that were recently recruited into the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA. He said the development will build the confidence of the international shipping community in the Nigerian maritime administration.
According to figures obtained from NIMASA, a total of 726 Port State Control was carried out in 2014, representing 14.5 per cent port state control compliance. Last year’s performance almost met the International Maritime Organization, IMO’s recommended target of 15 per cent in less than 3 years.
The 2014 Port State Control figure shows a 62 per cent increase from the total number of Port State Control Inspections carried out in 2013.
Port State Control is the inspection of foreign ships in the ports of other countries. It officers (inspectors) the opportunity of verifying the competency of the master and officers onboard including the condition of the ship and its equipment comply with the requirements of international conventions.