The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to continue to set high standards for vessels and oil platforms operating within Nigeria’s territorial waters in line with the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention.
Peterside said this during an engagement he had with officials of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Asia Pacific region led by Derek Novak in Singapore. He said Nigeria cannot be a dumping ground for substandard vessels and therefore solicited the support and cooperation of classification societies to establish and maintain high technical standards for construction and maintenance of vessels and other maritime structures.
He said the maritime sector, which is the facilitator of the national economy in Nigeria, is growing at a rapid rate and therefore needs all the support it can get.
He advocated regular ship survey to ensure compliance with set standards and assured the delegation that it is one of the priorities of the new administration in NIMASA.
Novak said ABS has been working with Nigeria for a long time and that the organisation would continue to maintain high standards for which the ABS is known. He promised to work with his counterpart in West and Central Africa so that NIMASA can benefit from some of the training opportunities ABS offers.
Novak expressed optimism that Nigeria is properly positioned to emerge as the shipping powerhouse of West and Central Africa if the country puts its house in order and build on its infrastructural and human capacity.
He also identified Singapore as a great maritime nation from which Nigeria should seek closer ties.