The Maritime Security Providers’ Association of Nigeria (MASPAN) has tasked the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on the need to spearhead the review of the provisions of Best Management Practices (BMP) West Africa for reporting incidents of piracy as part of efforts to enhance maritime security in the nation’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
President of MASPAN, Emmanuel Maiguwa made the call when he led executive members of the association on a courtesy visit to the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh in Lagos recently.
Maiguwa said the call became necessary following the recent incident of MT Heroic IDUN, the supertanker, which veered into Nigerian waters to load crude oil illegally at the Akpo Oil Field, off the shores of Bonny but claimed it was attacked by sea pirates after it resisted arrest by the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Gongola.
Noting that there is need to review the protocols for reporting incidents in the BMP document, Maiguwa said the document, as currently constituted, does not give priority in reporting lines to the country of jurisdiction where incidences occur.
“Following the incident of MT Heroic Idun, it is evident that there is an urgent need for NIMASA to spearhead the review of the provisions of BMP West Africa. As currently constituted, the document does not give priority in reporting lines to the country of jurisdiction where incidences occur.
“As a result, the vessel gave a false report to the M-DAD GoG before Nigerian authorities could vet the information. Had this incident not involved the Nigerian Navy, it would be difficult to counter the IMB’s report, and a false report would have erased our clean sheet.
“The most appropriate procedure should have been for the vessel under attack in our water to call NIMASA or the Nigerian Navy as first responders before other agencies in line with the standard security protocols enshrined in ISPS Code, in the interest of Nigeria and GoG. Essentially, there is a need to review the protocols for reporting incidents and other concerns identified in the BMP West Africa document,” he said.
Maiguwa advocated the need for maritime seminars to sensitize key stakeholders on the provisions of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offenses (SPOMO) Act as was done for judges recently.
According to him, while the programme for the judiciary will support the judges in the dispensation of judges, consistently having the same for stakeholders will enhance compliance and ease of business as well as provide NIMASA with gaps for future enforcement and review of the Act.
Maiguwa also called on NIMASA to reinstate the Recognised Security Organizations (RSO) regular meeting on a monthly or quarterly basis to enable RSOs discuss issues affecting their operations with NIMASA as the Designated Authority.
On the issue of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing activities, the MASPAN President urged NIMASA to develop the fishing vessel monitoring system to collate information necessary to counter IUU in the nation’s waters.
Maiguwa expressed the readiness of the association to partner with NIMASA and work out a framework to enable full implementation of cabotage trade taxes on her member’s vessels.
He said, “The membership of MASPAN incorporates significant tonnage of ships operating in distinct markets- oil and gas through the IOCs and spot market conventional shipping.
“While the structure to define and enforce the agency’s two percent is more straightforward and easily enforceable in the former, this is not the case in the latter. Therefore, we anticipate a loss of two percent levy for the agency in the absence of a practicable framework
“MASPAN is offering its platform to partner with NIMASA and work out a framework that will enable full implementation of cabotage trade taxes on her member’s vessels to ensure full compliance.”
President of MASPAN, Emmanuel Maiguwa (left) presenting a souvenir to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)., Dr. Bashir Jamoh, during a courtesy visit to the agency in Lagos recently.