NIMASA, NLNG Steps Up Efforts To Improve Operation
BY GBOGBOWA GBOWA
The Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and that of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) have agreed to set up a Working Committee meeting regularly to ensure improved liaison between both organization in the interest of Nigeria.
A statement by NIMASA Assistant Director Public Relations, Osagie Edward noted that the agreement was reached during a courtesy visit by the Management of the NLNG led by the Managing Director, Dr Philip Mshelbila to NIMASA.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh was quoted as saying that a better working relationship between NIMASA and the NLNG would greatly enhance operations in the maritime sector of the country, and 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; even as Jamoh urged NLNG to consider the Nigerian Flag as first option for her vessels.
“This is a new beginning; our focus should be what is best for Nigeria and not just for the NLNG or NIMASA”, the DG NIMASA said.
Commending the NLNG for providing platforms for Sea time training of Nigerian Seafarers, Jamoh noted that the Agency is committed to attaining best global practice, so that Certificates issued by Nigeria will be recognized globally.
“We are working to ensure that the Certificates of Competency issued by the Nigerian Maritime Administration are of international standard. This he said will make it easy for the NLNG and other international organizations to accept them.
“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”, he said.
On his part, the Managing Director of NLNG, Dr Philip Mshelbila noted 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 noted that they are 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 our 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 should 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 sea time training for Seafarers, which has enabled the seafarer to fulfill their qualifications and get certifications”.
The NLNG boss expressed appreciation to NIMASA for the active management of the activities in the Gulf of Guinea. “We can certainly testify from the report that we get both locally and from international bodies that there has been a huge success in the war against criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea and 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 of mutual concern 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.
The 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.