We have not received any complain of delay on ship clearance from shipping agents in Rivers Port since I assumed office. It shows that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is up and doing in the discharge of its statutory responsibility towards ensuring trade facilitation.
The Port Manager of the port, Mr. A. G. Umar stated this when he paid a visit to the NIMASA Controller in charge of service in Rivers Port, Mr. Umar Dachia in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Umar pointed out some of the challenges faced by the Port which include piracy attack, saying it is the immediate responsibility of NIMASA in term of ensuring safety and security on the water ways.
He highlighted the importance of security patrol on the water way as it gives ship owners the confidence of doing business in the Port without having the fear of being attacked. “The attack on ship is a serious issue that affects the patronage of the Port” he added.
Another issue raised was the change of status of shipping company by NIMASA which he advised that changes should be related to him because as the head of the Port it is necessary to be on the know sighting an instance where a vessel that had been cleared was later detained without information.
“We will not play with safety and any other thing that has to do with risk. We are always around for cordial relationship,” he stated.
Responding, Dachia explained that NIMASA has been trying in terms of security and some years back, saying a platform was established with Global Vessel, Memorandum of Understanding was entered with the Navy and both responded whenever called upon but noted that the contract with Global vessel have been terminated. “The agency has safety units that are always in contact with those at the vessel. It is clear we are all striving towards the same goal and the guidance and assistance of the Port is highly needed.”
He promised of ensuring that whenever there is change in documentation as it covers ship clearance and operations, the port manager would be given first-hand information.