The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) announced the introduction of new measures to check security threats in the Nigerian maritime industry.

This was announced by Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General of NIMASA, in a statement on Thursday, in Lagos.

According to the NIMASA boss, ship captains operating in Nigeria are required to submit the Security-Related Pre-Arrival Information (SRPA) forms to the agency not later than 48 hours before the ship’s arrival at any Nigerian port.

What NIMASA said

Ship captains are also required to exchange the Declaration of Security (DoS), with the Port Facility Security Officer (PFSO), of their next port of call not later than 72 hours before the ship’s arrival at that port for conveyance to NIMASA within 48 hours.

Additionally, all ships are to maintain 24 hours vigilance and surveillance to detect strange movements, including small boats and skiffs that may not be captured by the radar. Other measures include proper pre-departure search and completion of pre-departure form before departure from any port.”

NIMASA also requires Captains to switch on Automatic Identification Systems (AIS); close monitoring of communication channels and respond to any VHF call from the Nigerian Navy or the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRC).

Jamoh said procedures are easy to follow and deliberate steps have been taken to make the reporting process seamless, all for the good of the ship operators and the international shipping community, in a bid to build consistency towards keeping Nigerian maritime safe.

They are in keeping with NIMASA’s statutory mandate to provide maritime security and implement special actions to enhance security in line with the ISPS Code Implementation Regulations, ICIR, 2014,” he said.

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Nigeria’s fight to protect its maritime waters in 2021 received a major boost as the International Maritime Bureau (IBM), reported that global piracy cases dropped to the lowest level since 1994. The Gulf of Guinea region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020, with the Nigerian area recording only 4 related cases for the same period.