From right: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside in a handshake with the Managing Director of C&I Leasing, Mr. Emeka Ndu as Engr. Ilori looks on during the submission of the report of the committee on review of Nigeria’s ship registry, which held in Lagos, Monday.

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, has said that the decision of the agency to deliver a world class ship registry for the country was to checkmate incidences of capital flight, disrespect associated with Nigerian flag and delays suffered by the few ships flying the nation’s flag due to strict and rigorous port and flag state control regulations.

This is in response to several years of neglect of the nation’s ship registry, a development that made even Nigerian ship owners including the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas NLNG to fly foreign flags, because they lack confidence in the Nigerian registry.

Director General of the agency, Dr. Dakuku Peterside,who spoke in Lagos while receiving the report of the committee on the review of the Nigeria’s ship registry, declared that the agency is doing all it can to deliver a world-class ship registry. Peterside said the goal was for Nigeria to have a ship registry that will meet international certification standards and compete favourably with the best in the global maritime community.

 “NIMASA is working at giving Nigerians a ship registry that is respected across the globe and that will be attractive to ship owners, so they can fly the Nigerian Flag. In no distant future, our ship registry will be more effective, more efficient and responsive to change, thus, meeting international standards for certification,” he said.

The Director-General disclosed that the agency had already commenced the process of automating the nation’s ship registry, saying that from the preliminary report earlier submitted to the agency, strict implementation of the findings of the committee would be beneficial to the maritime industry.

According to him, “We are putting in place the necessary building blocks for Nigeria to be the first African country to achieve a five star International Standards Certification by 2020. International standard certification for ship registration is our goal at NIMASA.”

Speaking just before submitting the report, the committee chairman, Engr. Emmanuel Ilori, stated that ship registration and the effectiveness of the established processes in a country’s maritime sector operations were critical in determining the health of a national maritime administration.

Ilori stated, “All the committee’s efforts were geared towards making the Nigerian flag globally acceptable. The committee carried out an extensive review of the Nigerian Ship Registry, took cognisance of stakeholders’ opinions and expectations, and carried out comparative analysis of the ship registration processes of some Global Registries in arriving at the report. “NIMASA Management should consider and implement submissions contained in the report.”

The terms of reference of the nine-man committee, which was set up in February 2018, included to examine the status of the ship registry in line with international best practices and advise and recommend requisite improvements of necessity in the registry.

The committee was inaugurated on February 27, 2018 to establish a strategy to revamp the Nigerian ship registration process in order to raise the profile of the Nigerian flag in the global maritime arena.