NPA, NIMASA Wrecks Removal to Gulp N3.4bn
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have got Federal Government approval to remove wrecks from the nation’s waters at a cost of N3.4 billion. Twenty-four of the wrecks are deemed highly critical to navigation around Nigerian waters.
According to information emanating from the managing director of NPA, Malam Abdulsalam Mohammed, the contractor handling the project would be mobilised to sites by the end of October, 2009.
According to the NPA helmsman, surveys recently conducted in the Lagos waters show that more than 100 wrecks were lying in different locations along the channel.
Mohammed said that "out of the 31 wrecks  considered very critical to navigation, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is working on seven’’.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in Port Harcourt and Bonny Channels, NPA identified 24 wrecks and considered five of them as critical to shipping.
NIMASA roles out 10 yrs strategic action plan    
...with 3-yr budget for itself.

The new management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has completed a 10-year strategic action plan for the development of the maritime industry in the country, as well as completion of a three-year budget proposal for the agency’s activities.
Director General of the agency, Mr. Raymond Temisanre Omatseye, who disclosed this in Lagos said that the management has completed work on the plan and has submitted same to the federal ministry of transport which it has also approved. This will be a strategic action plan divided into three parts of short, medium and long term to ensure continuity by future management after them. He further pointed out that the management  would, for now, focus on the short-term projects which could be achieved in a matter of months.
He noted that the management would pay much attention to the issue of ship registration and, to ensure speedy processing of vessel registration request, the NIMASA boss said that he had not only recently brought the function directly under his office but that the entire process should now be done under 48 hours.
He explained that the country is still struggling in category “C” of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) because Nigeria does not have the required tonnage. As a result he continued, the new management has completed modalities to open offices in both the United States of America (USA) and United Kingdom to encourage foreign vessels to take up Nigerian flag.
He further noted that the “IMO works on technical issues like what have you achieved, how many of the codes and conventions have you ratified, how much do you control your maritime domain, how many seafarers are you training and finally the issues of tonnage now comes in.”

“We cannot sit in our backyard here and begin to beg for tonnage, we need to go out to the market and source for tonnage. The world is a global village. I remember I went for a boat show two years ago in New Orleans and Vanuatu had a stand there selling their flag registration. The same with Liberia here. So it is important that we need not restrict ourselves to local market, we need to begin to talk to people and we are big enough to handle that,” he concluded.

Minister asks NIMASA to ensure Nigerians benefit from Cabotage 
Transport Minister, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Bio, has challenged the management of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to strictly adhere to the implementation of the 70% participation reserved for Nigerians in the Cabotage administration.
Alhaji Bio stated this recently in Abuja when the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Auditor, Mr. Richard Rees who was in Nigeria to audit Nigeria in preparation for the IMO audit for member nations later on in the year, paid him a visit. The minister had stressed that Nigeria is ready to fully develop the maritime sector to enable Nigeria take her rightful place for which the new management of NIMASA has been charged to put all hands on deck to achieve targets.
He assured that Nigeria is not doing badly with domestication of IMO legislation and conventions as the Federal Executive Council has approved all the conventions he took there for ratification and domestication. He said that Nigeria will take the issue of the audit process seriously by making sure that all IMO laws are strictly adhered to.
Bio further informed that the new NIMASA management has also been charged to make the registration process of ships more conducive to practitioners in order to increase Nigeria’s tonnage and take her rightful place in West Africa especially in the area of search and rescue.

Mr. Rees had earlier told the minister that the audit process will help to move maritime administration in Nigeria forward. The process will also help in addressing the issue of substandard ships on Nigerian waters. The IMO audit takes place once in 2 years.


NIMASA To Improve ISPS Code To Level 2.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA will increase the International Security and Port Facility Security (ISPS) level in Nigeria to level 2 from the present level 1 within the next two months.
The Agency’s Director General Mr Temi Omatseye, who made this declaration in August while hosting executive members of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping in Lagos noted that safety issues were very important to his administration.
Mr. Omatseye also stated that NIMASA was set to create a 24-hour threat response center to boost its safety operations adding that the Agency will carry out an ISPS compliance Audit on all vessels in the country in September 2009. He noted that non-compliant vessels would be sanctioned.
 The DG who declared that his administration would adopt a direct and focused option in regulating the industry, noted that NIMASA will reach out to stakeholders, with particular attention to capacity building.
Commenting on the dearth of seafarers in the country, the NIMASA helmsman noted that his administration would ensure that the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme succeeded.
In his words “Nigerians are a unique people and we always excel in whatever we do, so I am sure that our seafarers will be the very best in the world. Our aim is to train seafarers not only for the Nigerian maritime sector, but for export to the entire world”
In his speech, the vice president of the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping, Mr. Andy Isichie noted that stakeholders are pleased with the appointment of a professional like Mr. Temi Omatseye as DG while noting that NIMASA/NCS partnership is essential for the growth of the industry.
Mr. Isichie urged the Omatseye-led administration to adopt the public-private sector partnership in ensuring that cabotage law works.
The executive members of the Chamber, which is an advocacy group in the maritime sector, were led to NIMASA by the body’s vice president, Mr. Andy Isichie.