The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh said the agency recorded an increase of 43.6% in condition survey for flag registration in 2021.
Jamoh who disclosed this during a media interactive session in Lagos last week, said despite the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency ensured improved port and flag state administration in accordance with the safety requirements of the Merchant Shipping Act 2007.
A breakdown of the figures shows that in 2020, the agency carried out condition survey of vessels under flag registration for 276 vessels, while in 2021, the figure increased to 489.
Port State Control implementation by NIMASA in 2021 was assessed onboard 673 vessels. In 2020, 510 vessels boarded for the same purpose.
Jamoh also disclosed that the agency reactivated the online portal for stakeholders to verify the certificates of competency issued to seafarers.
“The online certificate verification platform was reactivated last year to reduce falsification of Nigerian seafarers certificate and enhance the employment of Nigerian seafarers.
“We experienced rejection of Nigerian seafarers both locally and internationally and the agency decided to introduce the online certificate verification platform which allows ship owners to easily authenticate CoCs from the comfort of their electronic devices,” he said.
While raising concern over the high failure rate recorded for Nigerian seafarers who sat for the Certificate of Competency examination last year, Jamoh said the agency has commenced investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the trend with a view to addressing it.
“In examination and certification, the total exams conducted for all officers at various capacity and certification for the year 2020 and 2021 are as follows:
“Officers in 2020, the total number of examinations conducted was 829. The total number of candidate that passed and was certified was 254 forming a percentage of 32 percent. The total number of candidates that failed was 565 forming a percentage of 68 percent. The total number of certificates revalidated in 2021 was 246.
“By this, we can see a very serious and negative figure in terms of our students sitting for professional examination of the different certificate as we have recorded which amounts to up to 68 percent. The agency is studying and liaising with various institutions to see how we will address this gap.”