Security expert asks NIMASA review RSO requirements

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To improve standard and check the influx of quack maritime security organisations, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has been urged to review its requirements for registration of Recognised Security Organizations (RSO) to include security clearance from the office of the National Security Adviser.

According to NIMASA, companies seeking registration as RSOs must submit a formal letter of application, present current tax clearance certificate and evidence of delivery/approval of Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) as well as Port Facility Security Plan (PFSP) for facilities allocated in the past one year.

They are also required to present official receipts for payment of RSO registration fees.

Speaking with SHIPS & PORTS, a member of the Maritime Security Providers Association of Nigeria (MASPAN), Flight Lieutenant Terry Ajanobe, noted that port facilities are critical national assets, hence, it is not enough to request for the statutory documents without due diligence on the company before they are granted approval as RSO.

He said, “What has happened overtime is that it has become like a free market thing because it is NIMASA that deploys the RSOs, so everybody just bring somebody because they know. They will send the person somewhere to go and handle a port facility. Those are the things that are undermining the quality of the RSOs because many of them just have interest; it is not that they are professionals.

“The best way to go is for NIMASA to register the RSOs and create standard. It is not enough to just request for incorporation documents and other statutory documents they typically ask.”

Ajanobe also said that instead of NIMASA deploying the RSOs, the port facilities should be allowed to pick from the pool of RSOs approved by the agency.