NIMASA set to remove shipwrecks

L-R: Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT), Dr. Magdalene Ajani; Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi; Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Koko Bello; and Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, at the FMOT Ministerial Retreat (Second Phase) held at Oriental Hotel, Lekki, Lagos.

The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed that the agency is set to flag off an intensive wreck removal in Nigerian waters.

Dr. Jamoh also said arrangements had been concluded for the recycling of wrecks and derelicts recovered from the waters in partnership with Bayelsa State Government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which already has a   foundry in Lagos for wrecks recycling, with the ultimate aim of creating wealth from waste while providing jobs for Nigerians. 

Jamoh made this known during a ministerial retreat organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Lagos last week.

The NIMASA DG appreciated the Minister of Transportation for approving the creation of the Maritime Intelligence Unit and the NIMASA Maritime Stakeholders Experience Contact Centre (MSECC), which are both initiatives to improve intelligence gathering and enhance stakeholders’ communication to ensure sustainable growth of the country’s maritime industry. 

He also disclosed that the automation drive in the agency had led to the integrated use of technology in the Certificate of Competency (CoC) verification process, which has seen a fall in manual verification practice. 

Jamoh said, “In 2020, the number of manual verification of CoCs dropped from 4,112 in 2019 to 2,750, representing 33 percent drop in manual certificate verification. There was a total online verification of 9,723 in 2020.”

On disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), Jamoh said NIMASA was working with the ministry to resolve all grey areas and ensure seamless distribution of the Fund.

According to the DG, “The CVFF is in the Treasury Single Account and there are guidelines for the disbursement, one of which is the use of Primary Lending Institutions (PLIs). 

“We have advertised for Expression of Interest from interested PLIs and we are following due process to ensure disbursement according to the guidelines. Eleven banks have been shortlisted and forwarded to our supervising Ministry for further action. The Ministry has identified some grey areas, which are being addressed to ensure prompt disbursement of the CVFF.” 

He also commented on the NSDP programme, saying 446 beneficiaries of the programme are currently undergoing sea-time training, while 351 have been assigned to maritime training institutes and are in the process of boarding for sea-time. 

He added that 93 beneficiaries of the NSDP were currently undergoing CoC, 360 had completed sea-time training and were awaiting CoC issuance, while 368 beneficiaries of the NSDP project were already fully employed. 

On the issue of Vessel Monitoring and response to distress calls in the sub-region, Jamoh stated that the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) equipment at Tarkwa Bay and Kirikiri, both in Lagos, were fully installed with the capacity to cover nine countries in the West and Central African Region.  

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