IMO Scribe Ki-Tack Lim


No fewer than 10 African Countries are attending the five-day workshop training being organised in Lagos by the International Maritime Organisation IMO in conjunction with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA on the effective implementation of the International Safety Management ISM Code.

The ISM Code, which is an amendment to the Safety of Lives At Sea SOLAS Convention of the IMO, seeks to ensurean Integrated Safety Management in the operation of the ship not only by the crew but also by the ship managers by the various maritime administrations of member nations of the IMO to forestall a repeat of the sinking of Herald of Free Enterprise, a RoRo and passenger ship, leading to the death of over 170 persons.

Meanwhile, the Association of African Maritime Administration AAMA has reelected the Director General of NIMASA Dr. Dakuku Peterside as its chairman for another term. Peterside was unanimously reelected to continue to lead the body by the member states present at the 4th conference of the continental body which recently met at the El-Sharm sheik in Egypt.

The ten countries include Nigeria, the host, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia, Cape Verde, Namibia, Sao Tome & Principe, Equatorial Guinea and Liberia.

Secretary General of the IMO, Mr. Kitack Lim, who addressed participating maritime administrations at the training workshop, recalls that 2018 marks the 31st anniversary of the unfortunate sinking of Herald of Free Enterprise on March 6, 1987, which gave rise to the International Safety Management Code for the safe operation and pollution prevention.

Represented by the Regional Coordinator for West and Central Africa-Anglophone Technical Cooperation Division of the IMO, Captain Dallas Laryea, also reminded the representatives of the 10 maritime administrations in attendance that it is the responsibility of flag administrations to ensure that vessels that fly their flag comply with the ISM Code.

According to him, though many maritime administrations have delegated this regulatory duty to Recognised Organisations, also called Classification Societies, the final responsibilities still rest on them, an indication that the IMO would hold them accountable in the event of any mishap.

Lim Said: “As you may be aware, the IMO, the UN specialised agency with the global mandate of promoting safe, efficient and environmentally sound and sustainable shipping, adopts international shipping regulations, but it is the responsibility of governments to implement those regulations through national agencies.

“The objective of this workshop therefore is to enhance the capacity of Flag Administrations from member participating countries by providing them with updated information, skills and techniques required for ISM audit.

“Suffice to say that Flag Administrations require such capacity building to equip them to face the challenges of future of safety of shipping in the region and beyond, especially when the year 2015-2025 has been declared by the African Union as Decade of the Seas and Oceans. As you may be aware, July 25th of every year is celebrated as a special day for Africa’s maritime as a means to institutionalise the decade. Maritime Administrations are therefore encouraged to mark the special day every year with activities in the promotion of Africa’s maritime”.

It was further gathered that the IMO would mark its 70th anniversary this year, and the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day is “IMO 70: Our Heritage-Better-Shipping for a Better Future”. The event is expected to provide the organisation the opportunity to take stock, look back and also look forward with a view to addressing current and future challenges.

Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Peterside, who was represented by the Executive Director Operation, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, assured of the agency’s commitment in ensuring effective implementation of the ISM Code.

He disclosed that the agency in a very short time achieved over 80 per cent compliance with the International Ships and Ports Security ISPS Code, insisting that no stone would be left unturned in ensuring total compliance with the ISM Code by the crew and the ship managers.

Speaking on the reelection of the NIMASA-boss, the Chief Operating Officer and Acting CEO of the South African Maritime Safety Authority SAMSA, Mr. Sobantu Tilayi, said the leadership style of the NIMASA DG has brought better relationship among the leaders of the maritime administrations on the continent. He added that there is no better way to sustain the tempo than to re-elect him to continue to lead the regional body.

In his words “under Dr. Peterside’s leadership we have witnessed unprecedented level of cooperation among African nations especially as it concerns maritime. African regions are now willing to collaborate to grow the sector and address the security challenges bedeviling the continent’s maritime industry. So there is no better way than to re-elect our chairman to continue to lead this charge”.

In the same vein, the Director General of the Ghana maritime Administration, Mr. Kwame Owusu said that AAMA under the leadership of Dr. Dakuku Peterside has promoted collaborations among African Nations in order to tackle the issues that are hindering the development of maritime on the continent.

According to him, “Nigerians are blessed to have Dr. Dakuku Peterside as the head of her maritime administration because AAMA has witnessed his leadership style. More than ever Africans are willing to collaborate to tackle issues of piracy and other maritime crimes. I am sure after his second tenure we will push for him to have another term”

While speaking shortly after his re-election, Dr. Peterside said that there was the need for African nations to cooperate in order to reap the benefits of the African maritime sector.

He noted that the volume of cargo generated from Africa and those that head to African must be commensurate with the developments of the continent’s maritime industry.

He also said that the laid down policies such as the African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS), the Lome Charter and other strategies that have been developed to proffer solutions to the challenges that the African maritime sector faces must be collaboratively implemented by African nations.