It will no longer be business as usual for ports, terminals and jetties that have failed to comply with the of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code.
This is as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). which doubles as the Designated Authority (DA) for the administration of ISPS Code in Nigeria, has perfected arrangement to withdraw all maritime services from facilities found to be operating without complying with the provisions of the code.
In a recently published marine notice signed by its management, NIMASA said it has exhausted all intermediate measures to compel deficient port facilities to address all indentified areas of non-compliance with the ISPS Code without success.
The notice said the agency, in line with its mandate as the DA. has commenced withdrawal of maritime services from such ports, terminals and jetties.
“The withdrawal of maritime services, which implies the stoppage of ship calls at such facilities, shall remain in place until the DA is satisfied that the minimum requirements for compliance with the ISPS Code have been met in the facilities,” NIMASA stated in the notice.
The US Coast Guard recently imposed condition of entry which subjects ships that visit US from the affected port facilities in Nigeria to serious security checks before allowing or disallowing such ship into the US ports.
According to the diplomatic note from the US embassy in Nigeria, some Nigerian port facilities lacked effective anti-terrorism measures in place and the sanction deals on ships that leave Nigeria to the US from all non-compliant port facilities.
Currently only about 22 port facilities in Nigeria have been certified to be 100 percent complaint with ISPS Code by NIMASA while over 58 oil jetties and other port facilities were listed as non-compliant facilities.
ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures developed in response to the perceived threats to ships and port facilities in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. The code is implemented alongside the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), 1974. It has two parts – one mandatory and one recommendatory.
The purpose of the code is to provide a standardised, consistent framework for evaluating risk, enabling governments to offset changes in threat with changes in vulnerability for ships and port facilities through determination of appropriate security levels and corresponding security measures.