• Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

US Coast Guard Collaborates With NIMASA To Enhance Maritime Security

In a significant move towards bolstering maritime security, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has proposed a three-year collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to facilitate the removal of the Condition of Entry (CoE) imposed on American-bound vessels departing from Nigeria.

Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR presenting souvenir to United States Coast Guard (USCG) Advisor, Lt. Benjamin Montz during a courtesy visit by the USCG to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

Commander Juliet Hudson of the USCG, based at their headquarters in Washington DC, revealed this strategic initiative during a peer review visit by a NIMASA delegation. Hudson outlined plans for a bi-annual assessment of Nigerian ports’ compliance with the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code, working in conjunction with NIMASA. The outcome of these assessments will be used to update the Port Advisory Security Portal at the White House, leading to a potential decision to lift the CoE.

“We will work with NIMASA to review the compliance level of Ports in Nigeria with the provisions of the ISPS Code. This will be done twice a year to enable us to update the Port Advisory Security Portal in the White House after which a decision will be taken to completely lift the Condition of Entry,” stated Commander Juliet Hudson during the visit.

L-R: USCG Liaison to Nigeria, Lt Cdr Jonna Clouse; Assistant Director ISPS, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Capt. Elei Green Igbogi; Chief International Security IPS Assessment Programme, Cdr Edward Munoz (rtd); Head ISPS NIMASA and Leader of Delegation, Mr Mudi.I.Isa; Chief Domestic and International Port Security Assessment, Cdr Juliet Hudson (rtd); Deputy Director ISPS, Mr Tokini karibi-whyte and USCG’s Lt Cdr Crystal Wilson during a visit by the Nigerian delegation to the United States Coast Guard headquarters in Washington DC.

NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, expressed appreciation for the collaboration and affirmed NIMASA’s commitment to prioritizing safety and security on Nigerian waterways, aligning with the mandate of the Blue Economy. Jamoh also urged the USCG to extend its support to other countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), emphasizing Nigeria’s crucial role in the region.

“Nigeria is a major stakeholder in the Gulf of Guinea; you will agree with me that most of the activities in the region revolve around Nigeria. We acknowledge the support you have been giving us; we request that you extend it to other countries in the GoG, as a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, and all credit goes to the United States Government,” Jamoh stated.

Executive Director, Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Engr. Fatai Taiye Adeyemi; Director General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR; United States Coast Guard (USCG) Advisor, Lt. Benjamin Montz; Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Jibril Abba and Head, Maritime Safety and Seafarers Standards, NIMASA, Olaniyan Taiwo during a courtesy visit by the USCG to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

The NIMASA DG further called for USCG assistance in training NIMASA personnel, highlighting the importance of a gap analysis to ensure targeted and effective training.

Lt. Benjamin Montz, leading the USCG delegation, affirmed their commitment to supporting NIMASA in training initiatives and collaborating to enhance safety and security in Nigeria’s maritime sector, specifically focusing on port operations.

Head, International Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code, NIMASA, Isa Mudi (left) being presented a souvenir by Cdr. Juliet Hudson during a visit to the United States Coast Guard headquarters in Washington DC

NIMASA, as the Designated Authority for the implementation of the ISPS facility code in Nigeria, has consistently collaborated with stakeholders to fulfill its mandate, with the US Coast Guard playing a crucial role in ensuring safer and more secure waterways in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor

Hyacinth Beluchukwu Nwafor is a seasoned journalist and the CEO/Founder Belch Digital Communications, publishers of Hybrid News Nigeria.

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