Determined to ensure safe navigation of ships on Nigerian waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), said that all is set for the flag-off of an intensive wreck removal exercise on Nigerian waters.
Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA, who disclosed this during a ministerial retreat organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) in Lagos last week, said arrangements had been concluded to also begin the recycling of wrecks and derelicts recovered from the waters.
According to him, NIMASA is planning to commence the recycling of wrecks in partnership with Bayelsa State Government and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
The NRC, he said, already has a foundry in Lagos for wrecks recycling and commencement of the project would create wealth from ship waste and provide jobs for Nigerian youths.
The NIMASA DG further disclosed that the automation drive in the Agency had led to the use of technology in the Certificate of Competency (CoC) verification process, which has seen a fall in manual verification practice.
“In 2020, the number of manual verification of CoCs dropped from 4,112 in 2019 to 2,750, representing 33 percent drop in manual certificate verification while online verification hits 9,723 in 2020,” he said.
On the Nigerian Seafarers’ Development Programme (NSDP), he said, about 446 beneficiaries of the programme are currently undergoing sea-time training, while 351 have been assigned to maritime training institutes, and are in the process of boarding for sea-time.
Jamoh added that 93 beneficiaries of the NSDP were currently undergoing CoC, 360 had completed sea-time training and now waiting CoC issuance, while 368 beneficiaries of the NSDP project were already fully employed.
On the issue of vessel monitoring and response to distress calls in the sub-region, Jamoh noted that the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) equipment at Tarkwa Bay and Kirikiri, both in Lagos, were fully installed with the capacity to cover nine countries in the West and Central African Region.