Thursday, 10 September 2015

Nigeria top others Africa on port state control enforcement

Nigeria top others Africa on port state control enforcement

Nigeria is currently leading other African countries in the enforcement of Port State Control, (PSC), a development that will reduce freight rate and subsequently impact positively on the nation’s economy.

Port State Control is the process by which a nation exercises authority over foreign ships when they are in its waters. The right to do this is derived from both domestic and international law. A nation may enact its own laws, imposing requirements on foreign vessels trading on its waters.

Foreign vessels

Also, nations, which are party to certain international conventions, are empowered to verify that foreign vessels operating in their waters comply with the obligations spelt out in those conventions.

Speaking to Vanguard, Secretary-General of the Abuja Memorandum of Understanding (the body that oversees the activity of PSC in West and Central Africa), Mrs Mfon Ekong Usoro said “Nigeria’s leading position in the enforcement of Port State Control is a welcome development as it will bring about a reduction in cost of freight of cargoes to Nigeria.”

A marine surveyor from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said for the first time, Nigeria beat beat s South Africa in the enforcement of Port State control.

Figures made available to Vanguard showed that while Nigeria carried Port State Control inspection on a total of 726 vessels, South Africa inspected only 250 ships in 2014.

According to Captain Gowetha Mkhize, Chief marine surveyor of the South African Maritime Safety Authority, “while 150 vessels were inspected in the port Durban, 100 were inspected in other ports across the country.”

The Abuja MoU boss also said that in terms of trained Port State Control enforcement officers, Nigeria certainly leads South Africa.

She also said that the implication of the development is that there will be fewer cases of sub-standard vessels calling at the nation’s ports.

“The other implication is that there will be lower risk of pollution on our waters, and if a sub-standard vessel is detained, Nigeria will ensure that such vessel is repaired thereby creating more jobs for our dockyards and marine engineers.” She added.

Also speaking on the development, President of the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, (NAMM), Captain Ade Olopoenia told Vanguard that the achievement of this feat was as a result of the high number of master mariners that were recently recruited into the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) , the nation’s maritime administrator.

Olopoenia also said that the development will build the confidence of the international shipping community in the Nigerian maritime administration.

According to statistical figures obtained from NIMASA, a total of 726 Port State Control measures were carried out in 2014, representing 14.5 percent port state control compliance.