The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has commenced new measures to check security threats in the Nigerian maritime domain, as well as deter persons seeking illegal means of entry into the country as stowaways.
With the new procedures, all ship captains are to submit the Security-Related Pre-Arrival Information (SRPA) forms to the agency not later than 48 hours before the ship’s arrival at any Nigerian port.
Ship captains are also required to exchange the Declaration of Security (DoS) with the Port Facility Security Officer, PFSO, of their next port of call not later than 72 hours before the ship’s arrival at that port for conveyance to NIMASA within 48 hours.
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Additionally, all ships are to maintain 24 hours vigilance and surveillance to detect strange movements, including small boats and skiffs that may not be captured by radar.
A statement released signed by Osagie Edward, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, noted that other measures include proper pre-departure search and completion of pre-departure form before departure from any port; switching on Automatic Identification Systems, AIS; close monitoring of communication channels and response to any Very High Frequency (VHF) call from the Nigerian Navy or the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC).
According to the statement, the Director-General NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, said that “the measures are consistent with the strategy of trying to keep one step ahead of the pirates, armed robbers, and anyone or anything that poses a danger to the country’s maritime domain and Nigeria, in general.”