NIMASA DG Highlights Key Factors Towards Making African Ports Competitive

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The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside has listed what he termed
game changers that will make Ports on the African Continent to be
globally competitive to include investment in world class
infrastructure, strengthen Regulatory Frameworks:, Enhanced
Institutional Cooperation, implementation of one-stop portals like the
national single window and adequate Investment in human capital.

DG NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside.
Dr Dakuku 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 African 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 on the African
continent 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 does not hinder
efficiency and negatively affect business operations in the Ports.

Speaking further, he said that NIMASA has upgraded its surveillance
system to 24 hours and can 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.

He informed the audience, which cuts across stakeholders from all the
regions of the African continent that Nigeria, has improved her
compliance level with global standards in order to boost investor
confidence in the Nigerian 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%. We also enforce industry compliance on all relevant IMO and
ILO conventions. Compliance on international regulation is to ensure
safety in port operations, and ease of doing business in Nigeria” he
said.

Dr Dakuku also noted that the proposed Antipiracy bill in Nigeria
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 and Marine Police and the Army with the
sole objective of operationally eliminating piracy and criminality on
our waterways”.

The conference was organized by International Quality and Productivity
Centre in conjunction with Ghana Ports and habour Authority. The DG of
NIMASA was invited as a resource person. This can be seen as 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.

You will recall that the Director General of Ghana Maritime
Administration, Mr Kwane Osu recently led a delegation from that
Agency to Nigeria where an agreement to enhance collaboration between
both countries was reached

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