Automation : Jamoh Makes Nigeria Ship Registration Certificates More secure And Easier To Process

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By Stephen Ubanna

 When Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, last July announced that the agency has started the restructuring the Nigerian Ship Registration office’’to ensure the utilisation of secured Statutory Certificates and prevent the entry of unseaworthy and sub-standard ships into Nigerian flag’’, industry stakeholders knew he is taking the country to a higher level in the International Maritime Community.

The NIMASA Director General  may have  gladdened the heart of Industry stakeholders  when he revealed  that the Maritime Regulatory agency  ship registry  certificates  would be enhanced  with new security features  that would stand the test of time for easy verification.

  The issuance of the automated Certificates , which Was introduced effect on July1, 2021, according to the NIMASA, Chief Executive officer, CEO,  involved the Certificate  of Nigerian Registry, Provisional Certificate of Registry,  Certificate  of Nigerian  Registry for  Bareboat, Chartered vessels, Fishing Boat and Certificate of Cabotage ship Registry for wholly owned Nigerian vessels

NIMASA Automates Ship Registration

He had said that Venture owned vessels, Deletion Certificate, Bill of Sale and Transcript of Registry including the Certificate of Mortgage to secure Current Account and Certificate of Freedom of Encumbrance, have also been hanged.

Barely three months after the introduction of the new ship Registration Certificates, the agency has started ‘’the electronic verification of the new Ship Registration Certificates. An elated Jamoh had said that the agency  adopted the technology ‘’ to guarantee  more security for its documents and give industry stakeholders and the International shipping Community  greater confidence in the agency services’’.

  A Statement made available to The Value news online by Edward Osagie, an Assistant Director, in the agency Public Relations Department, shows that the new Ship Registry Certificates now have QR Codes, that is Quick Response Codes, embedded in them to enable the Ship owners, Industry stakeholders and the Regulatory Agency’s Enforcement officers verify the validity of the Certificates, as promised by the agency CEO, last July.

Meanwhile, Nneka Obiayo, the agency Registrar of Ships, had said that’’ security and business facilitation were major considerations in the introduction of electronic verification of new Ship Registry Certificates’’. She further stated that ‘’safety and security of Ships  as well as  ease of doing business  are uppermost  priority  in the design  and implementation  of the electronic  verification  of the agency newly –introduced Ship Registry Certificates.

                The NIMASA Ship Registrar who could hide her feelings, has assured industry stakeholders that ‘’with the blend  of technology and creativity, it has introduced new features, which are  intended  to make the country Ship Registration Certificates   to be more secure and easier to process’’.    

In a related development, Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General, had confirmed that the agency  have also ‘’commenced  ‘’enforcement  of full compliance  with the marine environment protection   statutory  requirements and documentation on Nigerian  and foreign flagged  vessels operating within  the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ’’.

He averred that with the measures put in place, ‘’all  ship owners  and operators operating in Nigerian waters, are now required by Law’’ to update their vessels documentation , which include  all permits and exemptions, levies, record books and plan approvals’’.He noted that ‘’this is also a pre-condition  for further processing  of any vessel or shipping company requests with  the agency’’.

 Unlike in the past where ship owners and operators flout the agency policies without any sanction, Osagie, the NIMASA spokesperson, had said that it is no longer going to business as usual. Hear him: NIMASA would mete out sanctions to operators who fail to comply with the relevant requirements with the marine environment protection statutory requirements and documents in Nigerian waters.

Recall that Jamoh, the NIMASA, helmsman , had said that the new move  was in pursuant  of the agency’s mandate ‘’to  implement  all provisions applicable  to marine environment  protection  and documentation as enshrined  in the International  Convention  for the Prevention  of Pollution from ships, MARPOL, 1973 and the Merchant shipping Act, 2007 and the NIMASA Act 2007.

 The NMASA Director General, had old those that cares to listen that ‘’effective application of the environmental protection regulations in the nation’s maritime domain was crucial to the country’s quest for economic development.

He stressed that the agency’s major con wouldcern now is to bring the relevant industry stakeholders on board to facilitate a sound and seamless certification   and marine environment protection regime. ‘’We are deliberate, methodical and strategic in the enforcement of the environmental requirements as they relate to the agency Laws and International regulations that the country is signatory to ‘’, he had said.

He maintains  that ‘’a well-protected  marine environment  guarantee  investors’ confidence which is a basic  necessity  for the maximization  and optimization  of the nation’s  rich maritime endowments’’, that touches  directly  on the country’s economic   diversification  and sustainable development drive’’.

He has informed the industry stakeholders that the agency, under his close watch, is enthroning a sound and sustainable ,marine environment  protection system  that would serve the  interests of both  the country and the industry operators. It is not surprising why officials of the agency are working round the clock  to ensure they bring stakeholders  who are on the same page on board to work with them .

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