NIMASA BOSS, BASHIR JAMOH
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under the leadership of Malam Bashir Jamoh will go down as the most eventful era of good managment that led to unprecedented achievements. Our editorial team has proved deeper to capture the major achievements of this parastatal under a leader with unique qualities and eye on success.
By Abdullahi Sabiu
Dr. Bashir Jamoh has already carved a niche for himself in the annals of Nigeria’s history of maritime sector as the leader with a midas touch. With a dedicated management team that shares the vision of getting to the peak, Jamoh has prove that it is possible to achieve excellence in managment of the maritime sector. To most discerning observers NIMASA’s accomplishments under the present leadership signposts the ability of a management team to turn around the fortunes of this institution of public service the way it was never done, according to the investigation by this magazine.
The Agency has continued to boost its port and flag state functions which is at the heart of maritime safety. The performance of the Agency in Port State Control has seen 725 inspections recorded in 2019 representing 10% increase when compared to the previous year and 510 inspections in 2020 representing 29.6% decrease. This, to analysts of the maritime industry is a major inroad.
Reports showed that total port state inspection in 2019 was 726 vessels of the 5,035 vessels calls which represents 10% leap, from the preceding year and 14.42% of the of total ship call. This is however short of 15% requirement under IMO by 0.8% of which the agency has stepped up efforts to surpass.
Futhermore, the total port state inspections in 2020 was 510 of 4,728 vessel calls. This is notwithstanding the fact that COVID-19 lockdown impacted negatively on the Port State Inspections. This global challenge however, has made the NIMASA management more determined to deliver on its mandate of bequeathing a more effective and efficient maritime industry for Nigeria.
Reports have also confirmed that on marine incidents/accidents, the Agency recorded 22 marine incidents in 2019 and 21 in 2018. Investigations by the agency were already conducted, while some are still on-going.
This magazine learnt that NIMASA’s efforts to address maritime security include the passage of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, establishment of integrated national maritime surveillance and security infrastructure, implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code has steadily impacted on the level of security in the nation’s port areas and facilities.
Renewed efforts of the agency, according to our findings, include the resuscitation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) Equipment, the Regional Maritime Awareness Capacity (RMAC) Centre, engaging international stakeholders, including BIMCO, INTERTANKO, INTERCARGO, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and Oil Companies International Maritime Forum-OCIMF, under the auspices of NIMASA/Industry Maritime Security Work Group (NIWG) to entrench coordinated response to piracy attacks and spearheading the institutionalization of the collaboration between her and other frontline maritime agencies for improved maritime safety, security and efficient port operations.
Our findings also indicate that in terms of human capital development, NIMASA fulfilled its statutory financial contribution to Maritime Academy, Oron, Nigerian Seafarers Development Program (NSDP) as the Agency has trained over 2,600 Nigerian Seafarers in various credible maritime institutions UK, Egypt, Philippine, Malaysia among others.
In its bid to improve that quality of its operations, NIMASA also sent categories of its staff on long term training abroad, to build internal capacities in various aspects of the maritime industry at the prestigious World Maritime University.
In order to further standardize indigenous ship operations, fiscal and monetary policy initiatives have been promoted by the agency as it sustained engagement with the MDAs, to entrench an appropriate fiscal and monetary policy initiatives that could pave way for the competitive participation of indigenous operators in shipping activities in the country.
Investigations confirmed that some of these efforts yielded to the push for the change in terms of trade from FOB to CIF for the affreightment of crude oil (NNPC), single digit interest rate for the maritime sector (CBN/NEXIM Bank/AFREXIM Bank), concessional foreign exchange rate for ship acquisition via CBN, engagement with office of the Vice President’s Economic Management team and host of others.
NIMASA’s aggressive retooling of the Nigerian Ship Registration Office (NSRO) saw the Ship Registration Office record 13.8% tonnage growth from 2018 to 2019. It is however noteworthy that this trajectory of growth was negatively impacted by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Latest data has also indicated that the Nigerian Ship Registry ranks second in tonnage measurement in Africa after Liberia, which operates an open and more flexible registry. There is also the remodeling and commissioning of NIMASA Knowledge Centre E-Library. And this facility is open to staff, students/researchers and external stakeholders/maritime operators in order to increase the knowledge base of the Nigerian maritime sector.
As for special interventions and Corporate Social Responsibility amid the COVID-19 pandemic at that time, the Executive Management of NIMASA in a bid to ensure the continued flow of trade, was the declaration of seafarers as key workers to facilitate vital crew changes and excuse duty.
Interesting to keen watchers of the industry is also the fact that Nigeria was among the first maritime nations to declare such and was commended by the IMO.
Another recent report of milestone at NIMASA
11 banks shortlisted as FG starts $350m cabotage funds disbursement
– DG NIMASA
…says we are working to exit Nigeria from “war risk Insurance”
The Federal government on Thursday disclosed that disbursement of the long-awaited $350m cabotage funds will commence with the inauguration of the special committee by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, as 11 banks have been shortlisted for the purpose.
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this at the 53 sessions of the Presidential Media chat organized by the President’s Media team, in Abuja.
The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF), is an intervention fund created to help the development of indigenous shipping capacity in Nigeria.
He disclosed that 11 banks have been shortlisted to disburse the fund, sourced from a 2% contribution by indigenous ship owners from every contract executed in the nation’s waters.
The disbursement of the CVFF is backed by the provisions of Section 42(1)-(2) of the Cabotage Act 2003, enacted to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity by providing financial assistance to Nigerian operators in domestic coastal shipping.
Jamoh while lamenting the absence of indigenous fleets, stated that the disbursement of the funds will not only enhance local shipping business but also assist in creating jobs for the over 2041 Nigerian Seafarers trained by the Agency.
He disclosed that NIMASA has trained about 2041 Seafarers in various institutions overseas, out of which over 800 have gained jobs with shipping companies, globally
“We are unable to retain them here, due to the absence of fleets to provide jobs for them in Nigeria, after their training overseas
“ One vessel can employ up to 40 of them. The shipping business is capital intensive, thus government need to give helping hands to potential ship owners.
“We need them to feed into our own system if the fleets are available.
The Director General while speaking on the payment of “ War Risk Insurance” imposed on shipments of goods into Nigeria, stated that NIMASA is working to exit Nigeria from such charges, following safety records at the Gulf of Guinea Jamoh stated that efforts are on to ensure that shipments of goods and services to Nigeria from Europe no longer attract “ War risks insurance”
He disclosed that Payment of war risks insurance has been going on for 25 years following insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, but noted that with the recent safety records in the region, ships coming into Nigeria waters don’t need to pay such risks
“ There are three basic insurance charges p, including “ War risk insurance, insurance on the valuables in the ship and personnel insurance for workers in the ship.
These are the three key elements which we ought not to be paying, as they are responsible for a 90% increase in the prices of goods and services imported into Nigeria.
“ They have commended NIMASA for the security recorded in the Gulf of Guinea and we are waiting for the report from the Lloyds of London very soon, we hope to exit this insurance
Speaking on NIMASA’s achievements, he disclosed that the agency remitted N30b into the federation account in the first half of 2022,
He disclosed security in the Gulf of Guinea had been largely aided by the deep blue project, adding that “the Gulf of Guinea has recorded zero attacks since the last quarter of 2021 to date
“We have not experienced any attacks in Nigeria since the last quarter of 2021 to date which was why they have removed us from the piracy list.
He disclosed that the agency has five vessels and ordered 7 new ones.
“Under the deep blue project, the agency acquired 2 specials mission vessels, 3 specials mission helicopters, 16 armoured vehicles that can enter the creeks, 2 special mission aircraft, 17 special interceptors, 4 unmanned air surveillance, for data transmission for possible intervention, 600 specially trained forces to respond to threats on the high sea”.
What the stakeholders are saying
Transport Professionals Hail Jamoh’s Success as CIOTA President
...Chief of Army Staff commends Institute
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR has received commendation for his efforts in transforming and promoting the transportation sector as President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA). The accolades poured in during the 4th National Transport Summit of the Institute in Abuja, Tuesday.
In the same vein, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies pledged their support to the growth and improvement of the country’s transportation sector to international standards, expressing their willingness to collaborate with CIoTA to achieve this feat.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Faruq Yahaya who was represented by Maj Gen. E Akerejola commended the President and members of CIoTA for the many economic sectors it touches on. From facilitating international trade, supporting food security and enabling industrial and infrastructural development.
The COAS stated that the theme of the summit “Transport Safety and Security Administration in Nigeria,” was also timely, as it is “an important aspect of the Transportation sector which has often been overlooked by many including the transport professionals and academia.
“Over the years, the transportation sector has witnessed series of issues and challenges ranging from poor infrastructure, poor regulations, limited specialised professional training institutions, lack of effective and efficient transport policies, intra industry squabbles among transport professionals, to unethical behaviours, poor working condition amongst others,” he said.
He reassured the Institute of the Nigerian Army’s resolve to support the transportation sector wherever necessary.
On his part, President CIoTA and DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh whose speech was read by Prof Samuel Odewumi noted that the theme for this year’s summit is focused on safety and security of the transportation sector in Nigeria.
Jamoh’s Three-Point Agenda: Two Years After
By Oluwafemi Kumuyi
On March 10, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Dr. Bashir Jamoh as Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Upon assumption of office, the newly constituted Executive Management hit the ground running with a three-point agenda, namely, Maritime Safety, Maritime Security, and Shipping Development, in line with the Agency’s mandate.
The three elements, referred to as the 3s or Triple S, are critical to the survival and effectiveness of the Nigerian maritime industry, which the Management of the Agency has passionately pursued.
Although the administration was greeted with the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the entire globe, affecting virtually all sectors of the world economy, with a heavy toll on the maritime sector, it continued to carry out its functions and ensured the effective and efficient operation of the maritime sector.
In examining the Triple S strategy of the Jamoh administration, it is imperative to state that security is at the heart of the maritime sector of any nation. Security of the maritime domain helps to build investors’ confidence and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the maritime sector.
Nigeria is endowed with a vast 853 kilometres of coastline, making it a strong maritime nation, bordering the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) alongside other countries in West and Central Africa. The Gulf of Guinea, being a major shipping route, is faced with enormous security challenges and considered a dreaded route for shipping activities. Cases of vessel hijacking, crew kidnapping, and other maritime crimes are rife in the region.
It was amid this security conundrum that the Deep Blue Project was birthed. The project, which has air, sea, and land components, is purposed to tackle criminal activities within the Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.
President Muhammadu Buhari launched the Deep Blue Project on June 10, 2021 in Lagos.
The project has since started yielding results, as there has been a significant decline in piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
At the launch of the assets, President Buhari said, “The initiative will serve as a benchmark for member states in the Gulf of Guinea and other relevant stakeholders to further develop innovative strategies and align efforts with the subsisting framework to improve maritime security in the region.
“The launch marked an important milestone in our collective effort to tackle security challenges in the form of piracy and other maritime crimes in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
“It is also a demonstration of the government’s strong commitment to ensuring security, as this will no doubt facilitate a conducive environment for the maritime sector to thrive and contribute to the diversification of the Nigerian economy.”
Buhari expressed confidence in the project, saying it provides robust maritime security architecture, with enhanced maritime domain awareness capability and improved law enforcement ability.
The Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, signed into law by Buhari in June 2019, gives further credence and backbone to the Deep Blue Project, as it facilitates more effective prosecution of maritime crimes.
Extolling the role of the Agency in its sustained effort to curb insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Kitack Lim noted that the launch of the maritime security infrastructure was a major development in the war against piracy. Lim added that the Deep Blue initiative had helped to tackle piracy and other maritime related crimes, not only in Nigerian waters, but also in the Gulf of Guinea.
This acknowledgement is a testament to the strides of the Jamoh Management in its effort to realise a viable maritime sector in Nigeria.
Furthermore, a report released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in the third quarter of 2021 revealed that there was a drastic reduction of piracy attacks in the Nigerian waters compared to the same period in 2020. This feat is not unconnected with the launch of the Deep Blue assets, which have been deployed for use.
Another strategic focus of the current leadership of the Agency is safety on the waterways. This led to the launch of the wreck removal initiative across the coastal states in the country.
To further harness the gains of the wreck removal operations, the Agency, in collaboration with the Nigerian Railway Cooperation (NRC), agreed on a partnership to make use of NRC’s foundry to break and recycle the wrecks for the purpose of wealth creation.
Meanwhile, the Agency has also embraced collaboration as a measure for achieving some of its objectives, geared towards a safe and secure maritime domain in Nigeria. One of such is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) aimed at providing a weather forecast system for vessels plying the Nigerian waters, in line with international best practice. This is meant to guarantee safety and security in the country’s waterways.
All these efforts are helping to build a robust shipping development regime geared towards a competitive maritime sector in Nigeria.
The Agency, within the last two years, has also renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Navy for the patrol of the waterways to guarantee safety of vessels and their crew. This is in addition to other partnerships with the Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, and Department of State Services (DSS), among other stakeholders.
For the first time in the history of the Nigerian maritime sector, the Agency, alongside its sister agencies – Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) – initiated a joint meeting of heads of the maritime agencies. The chief executives of the agencies meet periodically to brainstorm, harmonise their activities, and encourage synergy in their operations. This move will help improve information sharing and efficiency in the operations of the Nigerian ports.
Remarkably, in the last two years, there has been a significant increase in conditional survey of Nigerian flagged vessels and Ports State inspections for foreign-flagged vessels, thereby adding impetus to the level of compliance and enforcement of vessels operating in the Nigerian waters.
Other strides of the Agency in the last two years include the signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Maritime University (WMU), Malmo, Sweden, aimed at developing capacity of the staff and boosting their knowledge of the maritime sector. This is also birthing a strategic succession plan that guarantees the future of the Nigerian maritime industry.
Furthermore, an online certificate verification platform for seafarers was reactivated in order to reduce forgery, while also enhancing the employment chances for seafarers anywhere in the world.
The last two years have been eventful in the Nigerian maritime sector, as the Jamoh administration maintains its focus on realising the mandate of the Agency. The strides have been seamless through collaboration, which has remained a hallmark of this administration.
Conclusively, there is a common saying that, to whom much is given, much is required. There is still much work to do, particularly with economic diversification drive of the Federal Government, geared towards reducing dependence on oil. The maritime sector remains a key industry and all hands must be on the deck to ensure maximisation of the country’s rich potential, with particular reference to the development of the Blue Economy.
The focus should be the usage and preservation of ocean-based resources for wealth creation and economic prosperity.
Kumuyi is a staff of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Who is Dr. Bashir Yusuf Jamoh?
Bashir Yusuf Jamoh (Ph.D), the Director General, NIMASA has over 29 years of public service experience. He had served in the Kaduna State Government before transferring his services to the then National Maritime Authority (NMA) in 1994.
Dr. Jamoh was until this appointment the Executive Director, Finance & Administration in NIMASA. Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director in NIMASA in charge of Training and Development. He had the privileged experience of serving not only in executive management, but also in the operations and administrative departments in NIMASA at management level and brings this knowledge to bear on his new assignment.
Dr. Jamoh holds a Ph.D in Logistics and Transport Management from the University of Port Harcourt, a Master’s degree in Management from the Korea Maritime and Ocean University in South Korea, an Advanced Diploma in Management from the Bayero University Kano, a Professional Certificate in Materials Management from the Institute of Logistics in the UK and a Diploma in Accounting from the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria.
He has attended management courses at the Said Business School, Oxford University, UK as well as the Institute of Public Partnerships in Washington DC, USA. Dr. Jamoh also holds membership of several professional Associations including the Chartered Institute of Transport and Logistics, Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria and Institute of Maritime Economists (Canada).
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