July 6, 2016 - 5:31 AM EDT
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NIMASA Unveils Five-Point Plan to Reform Maritime Operations

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled a strategic plan to reform the industry, even as it mulls signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Navy and the Air force to combat the menace of sea pirates.

The Director General, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos said the move was important to restore safety to Nigerian waterways.

According to him, both bodies are expected to help deploy their security apparatus to survey and secure the terrain, which before now has been very notorious to shipping operators.

"To bring the incidences of piracy to zero, they will always patrol the waterways and ensure prompt response to incidents and also have responsibility to prosecute criminals found wanting on the waterways,"

Peterside however rolled out the agency's medium term strategic growth plan for the maritime industry.

According to him, the plan covering three years period was built around his core mission at NIMASA which he identified as to reform, restructure and reposition the agency for sustainable growth and development of the maritime industry.

He said the strategy document was built on five pillars including Survey, Inspection and Certification Transformation programme; Environment, Security and Search and Rescue Transformation programme; as well as Capacity Building and Promotional Initiatives which entail growing indigenous tonnage, ship building and human capacity.

Others are Digital Transformation Strategy; and Structural and Cultural reforms including changes to work ethic and attitude of staff as well as processes and procedures.

Petreside, who expressed concerns that he inherited a NIMASA that was easily associated with problems, said he is determined to reposition, organization for better efficiency.

"The times are quite challenging given the dwindling global economy, decline in crude oil price and foreign exchange and fiscal policies which have impacted the revenue of the Agency. This requires ingenious leadership to actualise our policy direction and we are committed to providing that leadership," he said.

The DG noted that one of the ways to shore up the agency's income to actualise the strategic programme was to block revenue leakages through the full automation of systems and processes to eliminate human contact and increase efficiency.

He further expressed his commitment to providing sea time training to cadets of the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme and the judicial application of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to assist local operators to re-fleet and increase the nation's tonnage.

Peterside noted that in the short term, the strategic plan of the Agency aims to achieve full automation by the end of 2016, achieve 100 per cent efficiency and effectiveness in processes within the same period and complete its rebranding process by the end of the first quarter of 2017.

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Source: Equities.com News (July 6, 2016 - 5:31 AM EDT)

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