The Director-General, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, who stated this during an interactive session with ship-owners in Lagos, said the agency has concluded plans to set up an automated ship registration process through online and electronic procedure. The new development, according to him, would enhance the Ease of Doing Business in the maritime sector, and position Nigeria as a world-class ship registry.
Peterside said automation was the only way to boost the worth of the registry and quicken business processes.He said: “Our principal aim is to achieve online electronic registration, accept electronic copies of documents and issue electronic certificates. Our goal as a maritime safety administration is to create a world-class Ship Registry, which will be attractive to ship owners with the aim of maintaining the influence of Nigeria in evolving international commercial and regulatory environment for shipping.”
He disclosed that in 2018 and 2019, the Nigerian registry attracted two high index capacity vessels – Egina FPSO and MT Ultimate, adding that NIMASA was confident that a lot more could be done to assist Nigerians to acquire vessels, hence its intensified effort to ensure the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF).
He said NIMASA was also in partnership with the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), to drive capacity in the maritime industry, and called on stakeholders to assist the Agency’s new automation initiative.
Peterside also highlighted the Agency’s efforts to secure an internationally competitive ship registry for the country, which includes auditing the register of Nigerian vessels; redesigning and producing new ship registry certificates; and automation of the ship registry. Others are upgrade of the ship registry filing facility; review of ship registration guidelines; and ISO 9001: 2015 Certification.
A Governing Council Member of the NCDMB, Mina Oforiokuma, noted that technically, Nigeria’s registry was the largest in Africa, noting that Liberia operated an open registry, domiciled in the United States of America, while most of the vessels registered in Nigeria trade in Africa. Chairman of the Ship Registry Committee, Emmanuel Ilori, urged NIMASA to set clear timelines for the administrative process of ship registration, and put in place precise change in flag instructions.
Ilori advised the Agency to ensure that qualified tonnage measures were employed to serve in the safety department, while commending its drive full automation of all ship registration processes, being one of the recommendations of the Ship Registry Review Committee.
The new high-tech ship registration certificates comes in various categories namely; Certificate of Nigeria Registry; Certificate of Nigeria Registry (provisional); Nigeria Certificate of Registry (Fishing Vessel); Nigeria Certificate of Registry (Fishing Vessel Provisional). Others are Nigeria Certificate of Registry (Bare Boar Charter Vessel) and Certificate of Nigeria Ship Registry (Cabotage).