The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy have resolved to deepen their collaboration with the aim of providing a safe and secure maritime environment for shipping activities.
This pledge was re-emphasised when the Acting Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro paid a working visit to the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas at the Naval Head Quarters Abuja.
Mr. Jauro who stated NIMASA’s commitment to renew and strengthen the existing Memorandum of Understanding between both organisations commended the Nigerian Navy for keeping to the spirit and letters of the MoU which he said has drastically improved safety in the Nigerian maritime domain.
According to the DG, “having acquired a satellite surveillance system that is capable of monitoring in real time vessel activities in our maritime domain, NIMASA is also committed to the MoU with the Nigerian Navy both of which have the overall aim of making Nigeria a maritime destination of choice for both operators and investors”.
The DG said the determination of the Agency to enhance business activities in the maritime sector by ensuring safety and security also led to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement with Global West Vessel Specialists Limited (GWVSL) which was approved by the Federal Government. According to him, the mandate of GWVSL is to procure and bunker vessels for NIMASA’s operations, manned by the personnel of the Nigerian Navy on a Supply, Operate and Transfer (SOT) basis for a 10 year period after which ownership of the vessels will revert to NIMASA.
Responding, the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas appreciated the efforts of the Management of NIMASA in the past eight years since the MoU was first signed most especially in the areas of training of officers and logistics support to Naval operations.
Throwing light on the use of NIMASA vessels by the Nigerian Navy personnel, Admiral Ibas stated that by the provisions of the MoU, “we (Nigerian Navy) provide security, we arm those ships. By whatever means the vessels are acquired, the Nigerian Navy is fully manning those boats and we still do”.
Admiral Ibas also advocated for a review of the existing Memorandum of Understanding to reflect current realities and to make it more effective and beneficial to both organisations and the country at large.