*Eyes IMO Governing Council Category C
*Begins Campaign for White List
The Director General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh has set goals he intends to achieve in his four year tenure just as he stated the gains the agency has recorded since his appointment this year.
Besides a tripod agenda which encompasses the core mandate of the agency as enshrined in the NIMASA Act 2007, Jamoh told maritime journalists that he would fight for Nigeria to be included in the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) White List.
He also stated that his administration would pursue a vigorous campaign to ensure that Nigeria secure a seat in the coveted IMO Governing Council, Category C at its headquarters in London, United Kingdom.
For over a decade, Nigeria has mounted an unsuccessful campaign to secure a seat in the coveted council of the United Nations (UN) specialized agency. A yet to be disclosed huge sum of money was lost in the futile bid to get a seat in the council. It remains to be seen whether NIMASA under Jamoh’s watch will break the jinx by getting Africa’s most populous nation a seat in the administration of the global maritime watchdog.
Speaking at the board room of NIMASA corporate headquarters, Apapa, Lagos to mark his administration 100 days in office, Jamoh told the newsmen who were divided into different sessions spanning days in compliance with the Covid 19 pandemic protocols, that he has made a proposal to the Federal Government to provide what he called “different kinds of incentives” for stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy.
Though he was not specific on the nature and details of the incentives, it was expected that if Mr. President approved them, they would go a long way in ameliorating the pains faced by stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy since the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic in the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation is putting finishing touches to arrangements for the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF). Operators would soon begin to access the fund. We have made proposals to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for approval to grant different kinds of incentives that would help us grow the industry. We are also working to ensure the disbursement of the CVFF. We believe that other sectors, like manufacturing and aviation, have leveraged on this sort of incentive to grow and that is the reason we are also looking in that direction”, he said.
He explained that the agency is partnering with the Nigerian Navy to fight crime on the waterways using intelligence and technology just as he pointed out that the management team led by him will focus on maritime safety, maritime security, and shipping development.
His words: “Collapsing our agenda into security, safety and shipping development has given us a bird’s eye view of the challenges inherent in our sector. Our strategy of nipping piracy in the bud is yielding positive fruit and that is why the Navy and the Police have arrested a total of 27 suspected pirates in the last two months.
“Our findings have revealed that these criminals work with the cooperation of international allies and that is what makes them sophisticated. We have set out to tackle them through intelligence gathering and collaboration with relevant stakeholders. Our recent arrests have shown the international community that we are not handling illegalities in our waters with kid gloves.”
The NIMASA helmsman also revealed that the agency has concluded arrangement to kick start the prosecution of suspected pirates recently arrested under the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.
He added that the move was part of the agency spirited campaign to root out piracy and armed robbery in Nigeria territorial waters in the weeks ahead.