As a measure towards meeting up with global best practices and ease of doing business in the maritime sector, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has begun an online registration of ships in Lagos. This was disclosed by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside during a stakeholders’ interactive session with ship-owners.
According to him, the agency has acquired a software license which will be used for the automation of the Nigerian Ship Registry, already rated as the second largest tonnage in Africa after Liberia by the International Maritime Organisation(IMO) and 46th globally.
Speaking further, Peterside stated that the worth of the registry will be boosted by the automation while fast tracking business processes, while expressing confidence in NIMASA on the benefit to Nigerians in acquiring more vessels with its efforts at ensuring the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)
He said, “Our principal aim is to achieve online electronic registration, accept electronic copies of documents and issue electronic certificates.
Our goal as a Maritime Safety Administration is to create a world class Ship Registry, which will be attractive to ship owners with the aim of maintaining the influence of Nigeria in evolving International commercial and regulatory environment for shipping.”
Many views from industry analysts have revealed the challenges militating against the maritime sector in Nigeria.
According Olamide Animashaun of lawyard.com, the sector has been plagued by sea piracy, port congestion and traffic, improper implementation of government policies, managerial incompetence, unfriendly operational environment, manpower problems/unprofessionalism, lack of holistic institutional framework among others.
He outlined solutions to include efficient implementation of government policies, abolition of harsh or hostile government policies, creation of standard operational shipping policy among other solutions.
With the registration project, it is believed that the waterways in Nigeria will be one of those numerous ways towards making the sector more attractive to investors while boosting business of the waters.
By Francis Ogwo
Source: Vanguard Newspapers Nigeria