President Buhari

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has said that the decision of the management to dedicate the agency’s merit award to President Muhammadu Buhari was in appreciation of his commitment towards the development of the industry.

Recall that the agency had emerged the winner of the 2016 Public Organisation of the year award organised by TELL Magazine Nigeria Limited.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who received the award on behalf of the agency dedicated to President Buhari, which he said laid the foundation for the ongoing reforms in the agency, especially since the coming on stream of the current management about 15 months ago.

According to him, the President’s mandate to the new management was to go to the agency to restructure, reform and reposition it for greater efficiency served as the springboard for the reforms and new initiatives not only in the agency but also in the maritime industry.

He insists that it was in recognition of these initiatives that have enhanced the ease of doing business at the ports, with the attendant enhanced efficiency that contributed immensely to the agency’s emergence as the public organisation of the year 2016.

Chairman of TELL Magazine Awards Committee Mr. Babs Alasa had said during a recent visit to the NIMASA DG Dr. Peterside to inform him of the award that the process leading to the award of Public Organisation of the Year to NIMASA began with a call for nominations from members of the public.

It was also gathered that the nomination led to the short listing of three organisations after which NIMASA came tops over the two others, having scored the highest per cent of the votes.

“Credibility was essential to the process that led to the emergence of the award winners”, the chairman had said.

Most respondents were of the view that NIMASA under the leadership of Dr. Peterside has undergone through total reforms which has seen it playing its expected role as a facilitator of economic prosperity in the maritime industry.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had corroborated this view during the 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Administration, (AAMA) which was hosted by NIMASA in conjunction with the International Maritime Organisation IMO.

Some of the giant strides of the new management include the recent approved Maritime Security Architecture and Infrastructure to be jointly coordinated by NIMASA, the Ministry of Transportation and the Office of the National Security Adviser NSA is seen as one major reason Nigerian voted the Agency as the Public Organisation of the year.

This is in addition to the full automation of all NIMASA operational processes and the restructuring of the agency that has led to semi-autonomous zonal operations so that functions such as issuance of Sailing Certificates, payment of bills and other operational procedures decentralized are seen as enhancing the Federal Government’s ease of doing business initiative to attract Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria.

Similarly the agency is currently undergoing total rebranding process, has also improved Nigeria’s compliance level of the International Ships and Port Facility Security ISPS Code since becoming the Designated Authority for its implementation in Nigeria.

Recall that the Peterside-led management at NIMASA had intensified the agency’s drive to ensure strict ISPS Code compliance and the result is that Nigeria now has a compliance rate of almost 80 per cent as 114 Port facilities out of the total 145 ports in Nigeria are now fully ISPS compliant. This is considered a remarkable achievement considering the fact that NIMASA was only appointed the Designated Authority for the implementation of ISPS Code in Nigeria barely 5 years ago when compliance level was barely 13 per cent before the coming on board of the new management.

Available records further show that 1045 beneficiaries have graduated from the project, representing 42 per cent graduates of the over 2500 beneficiaries fully sponsored by NIMASA..

Also, the issue of sea time which hitherto was a challenge has now been resolved as Dr. Dakuku and his team have been able to engage schools in Egypt, United Kingdom UK and Turkey to directly facilitate sea time training for NSDP graduates. 300 graduates are to get their sea time training through Arab academy in Egypt, over 220 to get sea time facilitated by South Tyneside College in south shield in the UK, while another 400 will acquire sea time through training institutions in Turkey, among several other achievements.