THE Senate Committee on Marine Transport has urged agencies in the maritime sector to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s resolve to boost activities in the sector.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Ahmed Sani Yerima, made the plea during the committee’s visits to maritime agencies in Lagos.
Speaking during the Committee’s visit to Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Yerima said, “There is need to revive the National Shipping Line because is very important to the country”.
He added: “What efforts need to be put in place; please let us know to enable trained seafarers to engage in sea time training.”
He stressed the need for agencies to operate strictly within the rules and regulations governing them, adding that all the agencies should execute their budgets effectively.
The acting Director-General of NIMASA, Haruna Jauro, said an Act of Parliament established the agency in 2007 with the responsibility of ensuring security on Nigerian waters.
He said that NIMASA was established to promote the development of indigenous shipping capacity in the international and coastal shipping trade.
According to Jauro, the agency also promotes the development of manpower in the maritime industry, among others.
Jauro said NIMASA also installed an online seafarers’ verification platform to obtain the necessary data of Nigerian seafarers.
Jauro said: “For the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code, we had visitors from International Maritime Organisation (IMO) recently who confirmed that Nigeria was above 80 per cent compliance.
“Before now, the level of compliance was low and since the past few years when NIMASA took over, we have recorded high level of compliance.
“NIMASA trained seafarers and also issued certificates to the seafarers to show that they were trained by the agency,” Jauro said.
Jauro, who spoke on sundry issues said: “NIMASA was thinking about reviving the national carrier- the shipping line which was scrapped some years ago.
“Unless we have shipping line in place, the seafarers would find it difficult to engage in sea-time training”, he added.