In a statement issued by Philip Kyanet, Head Corporate Communications of NIMASA, he stated that the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh has said that the guidelines for vessels calling, at the Nigerian Port recently issued by the Agency was to ensure shipping activities continue in a way that would not allow the spread of COVID-19.
These guidelines were stated when Barrister Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council led some stakeholders, including shipping companies to the NIMASA head office in Lagos.
Acknowledging the COVID-19 pandemic slowing down things in the sector, Jamoh appealed for more consideration as the global economy is going through a hard time, adding that Nigeria is not exempted.
Furthermore, he stated that while the federal government is concerned about the lives of the citizens in the country, the economy has to be sustained, hence the need for collaboration with relevant Agencies, such as Shippers’ Council.
“We are in trying times and all hands must be on deck to sustain the Nigerian economy. Let me assure all stakeholders and the shipping community that as our part as a Regulatory Agency, we will continue to embrace collaboration. This is a phase and it will soon be over, because today’s pains are necessary for tomorrow’s gains,” Jamoh said.
Additionally, Dr. Jamoh noted that the guidelines were issued based on consultations with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and is in line with the best global practices, adding that the guidelines are still open to review as time goes on, which will be in the best interest of everyone involved.
“The world was not prepared for the pandemic and that is why we are trying to ease the pressure on our industry while taking necessary precautions to safeguard lives. We will continue to review these guidelines where necessary to ensure that shipping does not suffer, especially when it comes to movement of medical facilities through the sea,” Jamoh said.
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, further appealed for more collaboration and cooperation from the shipping companies and stakeholders in the sector. He guaranteed that the Federal Government Agencies in the sector will work together and synergise to ensure ease of information sharing through a single data window.
“At this period, we must sustain our economy through shipping, though it is a delicate balance, considering the havoc the pandemic has caused the globe. That is why we are working hand-in-hand to ensure port activities continue, while not being detrimental to human lives,” Bello said.
While commending the Agency on the proactive efforts in issuing the notice, the representatives of some shipping companies who attended the meeting also appealed to the Agency to consider voyages less than 14-days in the marine notice review, to avoid undue delay and port congestion.
Present at the meeting were; the Managing Director PIL Shipping, Jack Langrishe, the Managing Director Ports & Terminal Multiservice Limited, Ascario Russo, The General Manager ARKAS Line, Lain Lindsay, and the Executive Directors of NIMASA, amongst other.
BY HANYTA OGBE