DG NIMASA, De. Peterside

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, emerged winner of the 2016 Public Organisation of the year award 2016 after rigorous and painstaking selection processes by members of the Nigerian public, says the management of TELL Magazine Nigeria Limited, organisers of the award.

Recall that the new management of the agency headed by the Dr. Dakuku Peterside had in the last one year when it came on board instituted series of reforms including its medium term development plan, which covers 2016-2019 as well as the decentralisation of the operations of the agency, which has brought about efficiency in service delivery to the maritime community both locally and internationally.

Chairman of the TELL Magazine Awards Committee, Mr. Babs Alasa, who made this disclosure during a recent visit to the Director General of the agency, Dr. Peterside to inform him of the award, said that the emergence of the agency followed a rigorous selection processes involving members of the public.

According to him, the process of emergence of NIMASA began with a call for nominations from the public.

He said the nomination brought out three organisations, with NIMASA earning the highest per cent of the votes to beat the other two, insisting that “credibility is key to the process of selection”.

It was gathered that the respondents were of the opinion that NIMASA under the leadership of Peterside has undergone total reform of the organisation, which has seen it deliver on its core functions, thus facilitating the nation’s economic prosperity in the maritime industry.

The chairman noted that the acting President Yemi Osinbajo corroborated this position during the 3rd conference of the Association of African Maritime Administration, AAMA which was hosted by NIMASA in conjunction with the International Maritime Organization IMO..

The Federal Government had recently approved the Maritime Security Architecture and Infrastructure to be jointly coordinated by NIMASA, the Ministry of Transport and the Office of the National Security Adviser NSA, which is seen as one major reason Nigerians voted the agency as the public organisation of the year, 2016.

“In addition, 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 decentralised are seen as enhancing the Federal Government’s ease of doing business initiative to attract Foreign Direct Investment into Nigeria”.

“Furthermore, the agency 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”.

“The present management at NIMASA has 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” , the chairman also said.

It would be recalled that the efforts of the agency to grow human capital through the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme has also received wide commendation.

Available records show that so far, 1045 beneficiaries have graduated from the project, representing 42 per cent graduates of the over 2500 NIMASA- sponsored cadets.

Investigations show that the challenge of sea time which hitherto was a major headache to the agency has now been resolved as Dr. Peterside and his team have been able to engage schools in Egypt, United Kingdom  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.

The award, according to the chairman is slated for June 17, 2017 at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island Lagos.

Also to receive awards are Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who emerged winner in the National Icon of Democracy category, Governor Ben Ayade of Cross Rivers State as the Governor of the year, Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari as the Woman of the year, and late Dele Giwa as the all-time “national icon of freedom of speech”, among others.