Posted by News Express | 20 July 2017 | 1,935 times
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside has listed what he termed game changers that would make ports on the African continent to be globally competitive to include investment in world class infrastructure, strengthen regulatory frameworks, enhancing institutional cooperation, implementation of one-stop portals such as the national single window and adequate investment in human capital.
Peterside stated this while delivering a paper on the "Significance of Maritime Regulations and Competitiveness of African Ports" at the conference on Port Development, which took place in Accra Ghana.
In his words, “African Ports have fallen far behind our global peers on key performance indicators. Cargo spends nearly three weeks on average in sub-Saharan African ports, compared to less than a week in large ports in Europe, Latin America and Asia. We are below the global average on three key productivity measures of ports: gross moves per hour, berth moves per hour and man-hours per move.”
He noted that for port operations on the continent to experience appreciable improvement, agencies in the port community must work together to implement integrated and sustainable solutions to the identified challenges.
The NIMASA DG restated the Agency’s commitment to strengthening the capacity of ports in Nigeria and enable competitiveness in Africa via the effective implementation of the Merchant Shipping Act, NIMASA and the Cabotage Act by ensuring that regulating the maritime sector with the use of these instruments would not hinder efficiency and negatively affect business operations in the ports.
He further said that NIMASA had upgraded its surveillance system to 24 hours and could consequently monitor all vessels in the Nigerian maritime domain at all times. He also disclosed that the integration of the Agency’s system with the Nigerian Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS) was part of efforts to forge partnership with key industry stakeholders to enhance efficiency in the Nigerian maritime sector.
Peterside informed the audience, which cuts across stakeholders the African continent, that Nigeria had improved her compliance level with global standards in order to boost investor confidence in the maritime sector. “In a bid to boost investor confidence and benchmark to global standards, NIMASA actively ensures compliance and implementation of the International Ship and Ports Facility Security Code (ISPS) Code. Our compliance level is now over 90 per cent,” he said.
The DG also noted that the proposed Anti-Piracy Bill would enhance safety and security of the Nigerian maritime territory. “Security is essential for seafarers, ships and port facilities. The Federal Government recently approved a $186 million Integrated Waterways Surveillance and maritime security initiative, which is to be run jointly with Nigerian Navy, the Marine Police and the Army with the sole objective of operationally eliminating piracy and criminality on our waterways,” he said.
The conference was organised by International Quality and Productivity Centre in conjunction with Ghana Ports and Harbour Authority. The NIMASA DG was invited as a resource person. This may a direct benefit of the regional collaboration to harness the blue economy potentials as highlighted at the conference of Heads of African Maritime Administrations, which took place earlier this year in Abuja.
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