The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Friday said the deployment of the Deep Blue Project In 2021 had reduced incidents of piracy on Nigeria coastal water as well as the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
This was disclosed by the director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh during a media parley in Lagos on the agency’s 2021 scorecard and projections for 2022, at the agency’s head office.
Jamoh said the success recorded in the area of maritime safety and security made the nation experienced the least attack on its waters in the last 28 years.
He, however, said that was made possible through collaborations with sister government agencies, amongst many others.
The NIMASA boss also disclosed that that it made a payment of N37.69 billion to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) in 2021, a figure higher than the N31.83 billion it contributed in 2020.
“In 2020, the agency contributed to the consolidated revenue account by paying N31,839,917,978.20. Despite the pandemic, we also went ahead to increase the amount we paid in 2021 with a total amount of N37,691,630, 450.22″.
On the flag state control, which deals with survey and inspection of vessels in accordance with the safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007, the DG stated that a total of 489 vessels were surveyed in 2021, indicating a 43.6 per cent increase from that of 2020 which was 276 vessels.
According to him, it is an indication of the maritime administration’s seriousness in terms of flag state survey, noting that for the port state control functions of NIMASA, a total of 429 foreign vessels were boarded to ensure that each vessel maintained safety, pollution standards while at Nigeria’s ports and waters.
He also disclosed that the N50 billion modular floating dockyard acquired in 2018 will become operational before the end of the first quarter of 2022, through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) in order to cut cost.
Jamoh also assured stakeholders of the agency’s committment towards putting the floating dock to use.
He said: “We expect before the end of the first quarter the floating dock to be operational. However, we don’t want to operate it by government or NIMASA alone but for Public Private Partnership. As usual, the issue of privatisation of any government property is not a product but a process.
“The DG of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) was here to give us the first certificate, telling us that privatising the modular floating dock is profitable and doable, and they gave us the go ahead to do that. We have gone ahead to do negotiations with the Managing Partner, the Nigerian Ports Authority with the provision of Continental Shipyard. We expect that by the middle of February, we would get the final no-objection certificate.
The NIMASA boss further explained that the privatisation of the floating dock must be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) because it is a national asset and that the move was necessary because the federal government cannot bear the cost implications alone.
“When it is privatised, the managing partners can decide and move it to the proper position it should be. Operationality of the floating dock would be taken over by foreigners to service it before the approval of the FEC. By the time we receive approval and the floating dock is in use, we will move it to where it belongs,” he added.