Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has encouraged the nation’s biggest vessel owners, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to consider the Nigerian Flag as first option for the registration of her vessels.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh made this plea when the NLNG Managing Director, Dr Philip Mshelbila paid a courtesy visit to NIMASA recently.
Jamoh stressed that the Agency and Nigeria as a nation needs the NLNG to boost the country’s tonnage.
“NIMASA needs the NLNG, we desire to have vessels of the NLNG fly the Nigerian Flag, just imagine that vessels of the NLNG are on the Nigerian registry, our tonnage will increase exponentially. The Nigerian Flag will earn much more respect globally and we will get better recognition”, the NIMASA boss said.
In a bid to attain better working relationship between NIMASA and the NLNG, which is tipped to greatly enhance operations in the nation’s maritime sector, the management of both agencies agreed to set up a working committee to meet regularly and ensure improved liaison between both organizations in the interest of the nation.
Jamoh, however, assured the NLNG Management that NIMASA would extend the already existing working relationship the Agency has with the NLNG Ship Management Limited (NSML) to the parent body, he described the synergy as “a new beginning; our focus should be what is best for Nigeria and not just for the NLNG or NIMASA”
While commending the NLNG for providing platforms for seatime to train Nigerian seafarers, the NIMASA Director General maintained that the Agency is committed to attaining best global practice, so that Certificates of Competency (CoC) issued by Nigeria will be recognized globally.
On his part, the Managing Director of NLNG, Dr. Philip Mshelbila said that the management of the NLNG is committed to the deliberate indigenization of the human component of its operation, adding that they are ready to partner NIMASA to enhance safety and security of lives and assets in the Nigerian maritime domain.
He assured that the company is on the same page with NIMASA in terms of capacity development and the quest to ensure Nigeria attains internationally acceptable standards in her operations in the maritime sector.
“We, at NLNG, have realized that for us to fulfill one of our key vision elements, which is helping to build a better Nigeria, it is important for us to work with all stakeholders including NIMASA. We are aware that NIMASA and our subsidiary, NMSL are working hand in hand for the progress of this country and we desire that same spirit of partnership and collaboration be extended to the NLNG”.
“I believe that for NLNG to fulfill its mission as a business it needs to partner with NIMASA. NIMASA is an important stakeholder for us; we don’t just see it as a regulator only. I know we have various training programs, working closely with NIMASA, being explored by NMSL to provide seatime training for seafarers, which has enabled the seafarer to fulfill their qualifications and get certifications”.
He expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the active management of the activities in the Gulf of Guinea, adding that the reports locally and from international bodies confirm that there has been a huge success in the war against criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
“We know that the Deep Blue Project is instrumental in attaining this success. Based on the information at our disposal; I don’t think there has been any case of abduction since this year and that’s a testament to the success of Deep Blue Project initiative that NIMASA has driven and this has been in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Regional and non-regional bodies”, he said.
NIMASA and the NLNG have agreed to urgently look into areas including port charges and how best to make Nigerian ports competitive, effective implementation of the Cabotage Law, Stevedoring charges, CoC recognition, and Registration of NLNG Vessels on the Nigerian Ship Registry amongst others.
Nigeria LNG Limited is jointly owned, as the Federal Government owns 49 percent; Shell gas B.V owns 25.6 percent; Total LNG Nigeria Limited owns 15 percent; and Eni International 10.4 percent, culminating into 51 percent ownership by the NLNG.
This information was disseminated yesterday via a press release issued by Mr. Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA.