The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) will set up a working committee towards improving liaison between them.
This was agreed during a courtesy visit to NIMASA by the management team of NLNG, led by its Managing Director, Dr Philip Mshelbila.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh said that a better working relationship between both organisations would greatly enhance operations in the nation’s maritime sector. He assured the NLNG that NIMASA would extend the already existing working relationship it has with the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML) to the parent body, while also urging NLNG to consider the Nigerian Flag as first option for her vessels.
According to him, “This is a new beginning; our focus should be what is best for Nigeria and not just for the NLNG or NIMASA”.
While commending the NLNG for providing sea time platforms to train Nigerian seafarers, the NIMASA DG said that that the agency is committed to attaining best global practice, so that certificates issued by Nigeria would be recognised globally. This, he further said, would make it easy for the NLNG and other international organisations to accept the certificates.
Jamoh said “NIMASA needs the NLNG, we desire to have vessels of the NLNG fly the Nigerian Flag, Just imagine that vessels of the NLNG are on the Nigerian Registry, our tonnage will increase exponentially. The Nigerian Flag will earn much more respect globally and we will get better recognition”.
On his part, Mshelbila noted that NLNG is committed to the deliberate indigenisation of the human component of its operation, adding that it is ready to partner NIMASA to enhance safety and security of lives and assets in the Nigerian maritime domain. He noted that NLNG is on the same page with NIMASA in terms of capacity development and the quest to ensure Nigeria attains internationally acceptable standards in her operations in the maritime sector.
He said: “We at NLNG have realised that for us to fulfill one of our key vision elements, which is helping to build a better Nigeria, it is important for us to work with all our stakeholders including NIMASA. We are aware that NIMASA and our subsidiary, NMSL are working hand in hand for the progress of this country and we desire that same spirit of partnership and collaboration should be extended to the NLNG”.
“I believe that, for NLNG to fulfill its mission as a business, it needs to partner with NIMASA. NIMASA is an important stakeholder for us. We don’t just see it as a regulator only. I know we have various training programmes, working closely with NIMASA, being explored by NSML to provide sea time training for seafarers, which has enabled the seafarer to fulfill their qualifications and get certifications”.
Mshelbila expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the active management of the activities in the Gulf of Guinea. “We can certainly testify from the report that we get both locally and from international bodies that there has been a huge success in the war against criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea and we know that the Deep Blue project is instrumental in attaining this success.
“Based on the information at our disposal, I don’t think there has been any case of abduction since this year, and that’s a testament to the success of the Deep Blue project initiative that NIMASA has driven. And this has been in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, regional and non-regional bodies”.
NIMASA and the NLNG agreed to urgently look into areas, including port charges and how best to make Nigerian Ports competitive, effective implementation of the Cabotage Law, stevedoring charges, Certificates of Competency recognition, and registration of NLNG vessels on the Nigerian Ship Registry.