By ANDREW OJIEZEL
As part of their efforts in fighting the battle against corruption, members of Senate Committee on Marine Transport have urged government maritime agencies to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in eradicating corruption in the industry.
The Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Ahmed Sani, who made the plea during the committee’s visits to maritime agencies in Lagos, said that shipping operators should operate at high efficiency level to attract more investors.
“The issue of corruption should be eradicated from the maritime industry. There is need to revive the National Shipping line because is very important to the country.
“What efforts need to be put in place; please let us know to enable trained seafarers to engage in sea time training.”
He also stressed the need to establish transit parks which would assist truck drivers to rest on their journey.
Sani solicited the cooperation of the agencies whenever the committee requests for any information for easy planning of the budget.
The committee’ chairman said that all the agencies should operate strictly within the rules and regulations governing them, adding that all the agencies should execute their budgets effectively.
Likewise, the acting Director-General of NIMASA, Alhaji Haruna Jauro, said the agency was established by an Act of Parliament in 2007 with the responsibility of ensuring security on Nigerian waters.
He said that NIMASA was established to promote the development of indigenous shipping capacity in the international and coastal shipping trade.
Jauro said that the agency was also meant to promote development of manpower in the maritime industry.
The NIMASA chief said the agency was established to promote acquisition and maintenance of ships in the country and to also promote inter- agency collaboration.
He said the agency installed a satellite-based maritime equipment to facilitate tracking of vessels anywhere in Nigerian water.
Jauro said NIMASA also installed an online seafarers’ verification platform to obtain the necessary data of Nigerian seafarers.
“For the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code, we had visitors from International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recently who confirmed that Nigeria was above 80 per cent compliance.
“Before now the level of compliance was low and since the past few years when NIMASA took over, we have recorded high level of compliance.
“NIMASA trained seafarers and also issued certificates to the seafarers to show that they were trained by the agency.”