The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, has disclosed that it has concluded plans to set up an automated ship registration process through the online and electronic procedure.
The automation is part of efforts to have a world-class ship registry and enhance the ease of doing business in the maritime sector according to NIMASA.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, stated this recently in Lagos at an interactive session with shipowners, a statement from NIMASA indicated.
Peterside told the stakeholders that the agency had acquired software licence for the automation of the Nigerian Ship Registry, which according to him, is rated by the International Maritime Organisation as the second-largest in Africa by tonnage, after Liberia, and 46th in the world.
He said automation was the only way to boost the worth of the registry and quicken business processes.
“Our principal aim is to achieve online electronic registration, accept electronic copies of documents and issue electronic certificates.
“Our goal as a maritime safety administration is to create a world-class ship registry, which will be attractive to shipowners, with the aim of maintaining the influence of Nigeria in evolving international commercial and regulatory environment for shipping,” he added.
He said in 2018 and 2019, the Nigerian registry attracted two high index capacity vessels – Egina FPSO and MT Ultimate, adding that he was confident that a lot more could be done to assist Nigerians in acquiring vessels.
As part of efforts to secure an internationally- competitive ship registry for Nigeria, the agency had commenced an audit of the register of Nigerian vessels, redesigning and producing new ship registry certificates and automation of the ship registry.
Others are the upgrade of the ship registry filing facility, review of ship registration guidelines, and ISO 9001: 2015 certification.
The NIMASA DG pointed out that some of the biggest ship registries in the world maintained a second or international register to attract tonnage while using the closed register to develop indigenous capacity.
To this end, he said the agency was considering establishing a second register to help grow the Nigerian fleet and enhance the country’s role in international commercial trade.
While presenting background on the development of ship registration, a governing council member of the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, Mr Mina Oforiokuma, noted that technically, Nigeria’s registry was the largest in Africa.