*To take delivery of 5th largest modular floating dock
*To save govt $100m annually
22 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA has secured approval from the Minister of Transportation to increase the number of Search And Rescue Marshalls from 100 to 1000.
This is even as the agency is ready to take delivery of the 5th largest modular floating dockyard on the African continent.
Speaking at a conference in Lagos, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the increase became necessary because the agency realised the need to enhance the safety of boat users.
Peterside added that the Regional Search And Rescue Committee which is made up of nine member countries under the Nigerian SAR Region have collaborated to enhance safety in the region after years of inaction.
Member countries include Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, Congo, D.R. Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Sao Tome & Principe and Togo.
“Since this new management came on board, the Agency has successfully hosted two Sub-Regional Technical Committee meetings to build a formidable regional network.
“The regional network has increased our level of alertness, thus improving our capacity to respond to distress calls, which has ultimately led to a considerable reduction in the cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. Our quest to achieve a safer maritime domain has seen us working on an Anti-Piracy Bill,” NIMASA DG said.
He added that the agency has received the President’s backing to acquire assets that will be deployed at strategic locations, thus enhancing its ability to improve the safety of vessels within Nigeria’s maritime domain.
Commenting on the modular floating dock, the NIMASA DG said the dock will save the Federal Government of Nigeria, at least, $100 million dollars annually.
“This will be a direct saving from the dry docking of vessels operating in Nigeria, which are mostly done outside the country at the moment. It is our desire to partner the private sector to run the dock,” he said.