The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders, as NIMASA inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine cable and pipeline operators in Nigeria.
According to a statement issued by NIMASA weekend, officials of both agencies reached the agreement at a pre-Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR), Dasuki Arabi in attendance, said the agency remained committed to the ease of doing business while implementing international conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
Jamoh noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
“It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which we have ratified and NIMASA is the agency of government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“We do not just implement laws, we consult. Where the responsibility of an agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this,” Jamoh said.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that dialogue would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director General of BPSR, Dasuki Arabi, commended both agencies for adopting effective inter-agency collaboration to avert potential challenge for the country in the future.
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