The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to continue to set high standards for vessels and oil platforms operating on Nigeria’s territorial waters in line with the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS ’74).
Peterside said this during an engagement he had with officials of the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) Asia Pacific region led by the President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), Mr. Derek Novak, in Singapore.
The NIMASA Director General emphasized that Nigeria is not a dumping ground for substandard vessels and therefore solicited the support and cooperation of classification societies such as ABS 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 for 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.
In his remarks, Mr. Derek Novak said ABS has been working with Nigeria for a long time and that the Bureau will continue to maintain the 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.
Mr. Novak expressed optimism that Nigeria is properly positioned to emerge as the shipping power house 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.
Thomas Tan, the Vice President of ABS, Asia Pacific region was also at the meeting.