Saturday, November 27, 2021

Inter-Agency Collaboration Panacea To Marine Accident – Jamoh

Sensitization NIMASA
L-R: The head, marine accident investigation unit, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Capt. Coker Abayomi presenting a life jacket to a boat operator during the sensitization exercise in Lagos.

The director-general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has identified inter-agency collaboration as key to tackling accidents in Nigeria’s inland waterways, leading to loss of lives and property in the country. 

Speaking during an awareness forum organised by the agency in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) and Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) in Lagos, he said NIMASA was committed to the search for a lasting solution to the loss of lives and property in the country’s maritime domain.

Recall that the International Maritime Organization (IMO) casualty Investigation Code of 2008 which seeks to promote a common approach to safety investigation of marine casualties and incidents mandated all member states to carry out an impartial investigation with the sole purpose of learning safety lessons from marine accidents without apportioning blames or liabilities.

Jamoh noted that the majority of accidents in the maritime sector were caused by human errors and that understanding the basic factors concerning the human element was an essential step toward forestalling or mitigating such accidents. 

“NIMASA established the marine accident investigation unit to conduct investigations to establish the circumstances and causes of accidents in the Nigerian maritime domain. We then identify the inadequacies in the maintenance of vessels and their equipment, the competence of all shipboard staff and their operational practices and procedures. We seek measures that can be implemented to avoid the recurrence of such accidents in future and inter-agency collaboration has been identified to play a major role.

 “As the Maritime Safety Administration for Nigeria and in line with its mandate to ensure the safety of navigation and the protection of the Nigerian marine environment and its resources, NIMASA has continued to initiate and promote safety culture to reduce or possibly prevent accidents in our waterways. You would all agree with me that prevention is better and cheaper than cure.

“Various issues caused accidents within our marine environment and as an agency, we have taken note and have a history of them. We are not only being reactive; we are poised to continue to take proactive measures in addressing them. Therefore, we intend to build on our efforts to ensure sustainability in this regard because NIMASA believes that this will enhance and promote safety culture in our work environment and guard against a recurrence,” he said. 

Represented by the head of Marine Accident Investigation Unit, Capt. Abayomi Coker, Jamoh stated that the lecture series was initiated for seafarers/cadets in approved maritime institutions, to educate them on lessons learnt from accidents that occurred within the Nigerian maritime domain and those that affected vessels of Nigerian interest outside the country.

Officials of the NIWA, NPA and LASWA joined their colleagues from NIMASA to engage non-conventional boat operators on boat maintenance, boarding and disembarking procedures, marine accident reporting procedures, firefighting and prevention procedures and protection of the marine environment amongst other issues.

In a related development graduating students from the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Research were drilled on safety measures onboard seagoing vessels by NIMASA.

Oluchi Okorafor
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