The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA has shut three jetties and port facilities comprising Heyden Petroleum Jetty located in Ijora Lagos; Waziri Jetty on Dockyard Road Apapa Lagos and Starz Marine Shipyard Limited Onne in Rivers State over their failure to comply with the provisions of the International Ship and Port Facility Security ISPS Code.

This is in line with the mandate of the agency as the Designated Authority DA for the implementation of the ISPS Code, a Convention of the International Maritime Organisation IMO, which came into effect in 2004 as part of measures to forestall a repeat of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on any maritime facility.

Deputy Director of the agency in charge of Corporate Communications, Hajia Lami Tumaka, who spoke in a statement in Lagos, said that these facilities have persistently failed to comply with the ISPS Code, a development that necessitated their closure.

According to her, this is in order to forestall a situation where security breaches in such facilities will negatively impact the compliant ones, which might also work against the general interest of the nation’s seaport industry

“This closure is in exercise of NIMASA’s s powers in line with provisions of Part VIII of the ISPS Code Implementation Regulations 2014 under which the facilities were adjudged to be non-compliant despite repeated warnings to remedy these deficiencies”

NIMASA has consistently stated its commitment to ensuring full enforcement and compliance with the ISPS Code especially in the face of growing terrorists’activities globally”, she said emphatically.

The Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside had while hosting a pre-assessment team from the United States Coast Guard USCG recently, expressed the determination of the agency to enforce the code.

“Ultimately all of us are working for a common purpose, which is a safer world through the safety and security of the maritime industry. If we fix our different corners of the earth, the whole world will be safer for everybody, and so no effort should be spared in trying to guarantee safety and security”, the DG had told the US Coast Guard officials. .

The NIMASA-boss insisted that all the facilities are to remain closed until their managers correct the identified deficiencies in line with the dictates of the Code.

He had also assured that the agency is currently working towards achieving a 100 per cent compliance, which he argued would not be achieved unless with the cooperation of all stakeholder, adding that the exercise is continuous.

The US Coast Guard had during the last visit given the agency three months for some port facilities to meet a level of compliance, which expires sometime in January 2017.

Stakeholders however believe that the decision of the agency to shut the affected facilities was part of efforts to make them comply in readiness for another inspection visit of the US Coast Guard officials, who are due to visit many Nigeria’s port facilities and jetties within the first quarter of 2017.