NIMASA DG : A technocrat on the saddle
His giant strides, unprecedented achievements in Nigerian maritime industry
For generations to come, the name of the current Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh will be written in gold for his efficiency, hard work and resilience in repositioning Nigerian Maritime industry for international recognition.
For the first time in history, Nigeria recorded outstanding achievements in maritime security and safety. Such that a report officially released by International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in the third quarter of 2021 showed a drastic decline in piracy attacks in Nigerian waters, when compared to the same period in 2020 fiscal year.
Only two years on the saddle as Director General, Dr Jamoh has made the Federal Government and entire Nigerian nation proud with his giant strides and land mark accomplishments in maritime security.
Within a short period, NIMASA under the leadership of Dr Jamoh has achieved what the agency could not do after many years of its existence.
As a technocrat and highly skilled administrator, he brought intelligence and fresh impetus to bear in running NIMASA.
Recall that in March 10, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari in his wisdom appointed Dr Jamoh as the Director General of NIMASA. Upon assumption of duties, Dr Jamoh unveiled his 3-point agenda, which include Maritime Security, Safety and Shipping development, commonly known as Triple – S.
Two years down the line, it has been a success story for NIMASA. Yes, a success story backed by assiduousness, doggedness and tenacity of a man with strong character to walk the talk.
Interestingly, the three elements of Dr Jamoh’s Triple – S, have become quite imperative to the growth of Nigerian maritime sector today.
For instance in June 2021,
President Muhammadu Buhari launched the assets for Deep Blue Project in Lagos. The launch was well appreciated by maritime stakeholders in Nigeria, as well as the international community, as the
Secretary General, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Kitack Lim commended Nigeria for that bold step.
Also, of great significance is the signing of Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, into law by President Buhari in June 2019. The SPOMO Act provides a legal backing for prosecution of sea robbers.
Wreck Removal :
More so, in September 2021, NIMASA with support from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, got approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to carry out wreck removal exercise across the country.
Today, it is noteworthy to mention that the process, which commenced by identifying the wrecks across the country, has become a reality, as NIMASA just successfully removed the wrecks along Badagry area of Lagos, which is a popular passengers route.
Speaking after the exercise at Badagry, Dr Jamoh, expressed optimism that wreck removal will guarantee safety of navigation on the waterways and wealth creation for the nation’s economy.
Inter-agency collaboration :
NIMASA under the watch of Dr Jamoh maintains a strong working relationship with relevant agencies within and outside the shores of Nigeria.
For example, NIMASA along side Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA); as well as Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), initiated a joint meeting for Heads of maritime agencies.
This initiative paves the way for Chief Executives of the agencies to meet regularly and deliberate about the way forward on timely information sharing and harmonisation of their functions to enhance seamless port operations, in line with global best practice.
Also, as part of its collaborative efforts to promote maritime safety, NIMASA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). The initiative aims at ensuring weather forecast for vessels plying Nigerian waters.
Others include partnership with the Nigerian Navy for patrol surveillance on waterways for the safety of vessels and crew members.
Synergy with Air Force, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Department of State Services (DSS).
Memorandum of Understanding with the World Maritime University (WMU), Malmo, Sweden, aims at capacity building for staff.
Conditional survey :
The tenure of Dr Jamoh, has witnessed significant increase in conditional survey of Nigerian flagged vessels and Ports State inspections for foreign-flagged vessels. This has tremendously increased compliance level, as well as enforcement of vessels operating in the Nigerian waters.
Re-activation of online certificate verification platform : Under Dr Jamoh, the agency has experienced uncommon transformation, as it successfully re-activated online certificate verification platform for
seafarers, in order to tackle cases of forgery in the system. The platform is also designed to create employment opportunities for seafarers.
Just last month, Dr Jamoh recorded yet another milestone with the successful hosting of GOG-MCF/SHADE regional conference in Abuja, where stakeholders from various countries came together to brainstorm on how to tackle maritime insecurity across member countries, while respecting national boundaries.
Award of Excellence :
Most recently, the Vanguard Media Limited, publisher of Vanguard Newspaper bestowed the prestigious Award of the Maritime Sector Icon of the year on NIMASA boss. The Award attracted encomiums from maritime stakeholders, who described it as an honour well deserved.
Despite these remarkable feats, the NIMASA DG remains humbled and unassuming, saying they need to do more on sustainability of the achievements recorded so far, to enhance development of deep blue economy.
On the whole, Dr Jamoh has made impressive performance in just two years. Not even the ravaging effect of COVID-19 pandemic, which took its toll on economic activities globally could prevent him from putting Nigerian Maritime industry on the right trajectory.