The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has offered to work with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) towards the removal of the Condition of Entry placed on American-bound vessels from Nigeria.
Juliet Hudson at the USCG headquarters in Washington DC said this during a peer review visit by a delegation from NIMASA.
Hudson announced a bi-annual assessment of compliance level with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code implementation at Nigerian ports working with NIMASA.
“We will work with NIMASA to review the compliance level of ports in Nigeria with the provisions of the ISPS Code. This will be done twice a year to enable us to update the Port Advisory Security Portal in the White House after which a decision will be taken to completely lift the Condition of Entry. We commend NIMASA for ISPS implementation and please deliver this award to your DG,” she said.
Meanwhile, Bashir Jamoh, director general of NIMASA also received in the audience, Benjamin Montz, advisor of USCG, who led a delegation to NIMASA.
Jamoh said the Agency would continue to prioritise safety and security on the Nigerian waterways to realise the mandate of the Blue Economy.
Acknowledging the support from the American Government in seeing to the implementation of ISPC in Nigeria, the NIMASA DG said support to Nigeria should also be extended to other countries in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said Nigeria plays a vital role in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), hence called on the USCG to extend support to countries in the region to consolidate the gains of the Deep Blue Project in the region, while also bolstering the existing ties in the region.
“Nigeria is a major stakeholder in the Gulf of Guinea; you will agree with me that most of the activities in the region revolve around Nigeria. We acknowledge the support you have been giving us; we request that you extend it to other countries in the region, as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and all credit goes to the United States Government,” Jamoh said.
He called on the USCG to assist in the area of training the Agency’s personnel, adding that a gap analysis will be done, and then synchronise with the USCG to give the right training to the right personnel.
Earlier, Benjamin Montz, the leader of the delegation from the USCG, said they are in Nigeria as part of their plans to support the Agency in the area of training, while also collaborating with the Agency to improve safety and security in the country’s maritime sector, with particular reference to port operations in Nigeria.
NIMASA is the Designated Authority responsible for the implementation of the ISPS facility code in Nigeria. Over the years, the Agency has continued to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to achieve its mandate, with the United States Coast Guard providing the required support and assistance towards the realisation of safer and more secured waterways in Nigeria, and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.