Yemisi Izuora/Ijeoma Agudosi
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) is now intensifying operations of the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre with effective incident management, search and rescue capabilities.
Acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Baba Jauro, has at a workshop for seafarers and health providers in Port Harcourt said the agency has procured key operational implements, such as patrol boat ambulances in addition to capacity building of human resources to maintain its activities.
Jauro, who was represented at the event by the Eastern Zonal Coordinator of NIMASA, Mr. Anthony Ogadi, said the occasion was important as it marked a milestone in the commitment of government to keeping maritime activities and the marine environment safe through fortification of the internationally recognised seafarers medical certification documents which NIMASA’s management developed in collaboration with Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Corporation.
According to him, This occasion is very important event for NIMASA; it is an occasion in which the agency is strengthening one of its key functions, the administration of safety through the regulatory policy on medical certification of seafarers.
The documents that are being introduced today are more secure documents which were printed with better security features to ensure that medical certificates of fitness for seafarers in Nigeria are authentic and in line with international standard.
He assured stakeholders of government’s commitment to meet the needs of the sector through better administration of safety standards.
The agency, he added is complying with international maritime laws to which Nigeria subscribed, and they include the Safety of Lives at Sea, SOLAS, 1974 and the Search and Rescue, SAR, 1978 conventions, amongst others.
NIMASA has also implemented measures such as “continuous liaison with international and external stakeholders in collaboration with regional bodies to keep maritime activities safe through better operation of the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, RMRCC, with effective incident management, search and rescue capabilities as well as procurement of key operational inputs, he said.