…As Jamoh says Navy is critical to Achievement of NIMASA’s Mandate***
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) at the weekend announced that plans are presently at an advanced stage to harmonise training procedures with the Nigerian Navy, to achieve significantly improved safety and security of the country’s maritime space.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, highlighted this in Lagos while hosting the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Fredrick Ogu, at the Agency’s headquarters, pointing out that a large chunk of the Agency’s budget went into the training of its workforce.
He also noted that other stakeholders, including the Nigerian Navy, equally benefited from training programmes facilitated by NIMASA in the overall interest of the maritime sector.
He posited that NIMASA would also still look in the direction of naval facilities and how to harmonise the training guidelines to meet the standards required by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for certification.
“NIMASA invests so much in the training of her workforce,” Jamoh stated, adding, “Aside that, we have what we call non-staff educational assistance, which is also geared towards building capacity for the maritime sector, apart from our workforce. This we have also done by including navy personnel whenever the opportunity and the need arise. In this wise, we are open to the approval of training facilities across the country as long as they meet IMO’s training standards.”
Jamoh said NIMASA was not an armed organisation and could not achieve its mandate without the Nigerian Navy. He said the Navy/NIMASA relationship had come a long way and predated the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that birthed the Maritime Guard Command, manned by naval officers and domiciled in the Agency.
The DG spoke on the Deep Blue Project, also known as the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, which aims to comprehensively tackle insecurity on Nigeria’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone, up to the Gulf of Guinea.
He said, “Most of our Deep Blue Project assets are already in the country and most of these assets, like the Special Mission Vessels and aircraft, would be manned and commanded by the officers of the Nigerian Navy. What is causing a little delay in the deployment is the training component because some of these training would be done outside the shores of the country. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a little delay in the training programme.”
Earlier in his comments, Ogu, who was appointed FOC, Naval Training Command, in June, reiterated the need for NIMASA and the Navy to work, more closely together, in training and on other fronts, while emphasising NIMASA’s role in the certification of most maritime-related training programmes.
“I know we have an existing MoU with NIMASA, which makes it easier for us to relate on many fronts,” Ogu said.
“The importance of NIMASA in our training cannot be overstated. They are the ones who issue certificates for our basic mandatory and survival at sea training. So there is a need for us to harmonise our training methods to further enhance our capacity,” he added.
The FOC also disclosed that the Navy had training facilities that were available to both civilians and military personnel. He urged Nigerians willing to take up a career in the maritime sector to take advantage of the naval facilities across the country.