By Udo ONYEKA
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has urged players in the maritime sector especially enforcement officers to comply with safety rules that would eliminate marine accidents and other related issues that may arise from marine operational mishandling.
The DG said this at the opening of the Annual Maritime Administration and Safety Enforcement (MASE) HSE Workshop with the theme: Maritime Enforcement Safety: Current Global Benchmarks organised by the Agency in conjunction with Heritage Bank which held in Lagos.
“ I am happy that we are focusing on Health Safety and Environment most importantly the safety of those who enforce rules and regulations. As a safety administration we are not going to be held by local standards because operational safety especially when it comes to the maritime sector has to conform to global standards and this is what we are preaching in NIMASA”,Dakuku said.
According to him as part of the Agency’s mandate to ensure safety and security of vessels visiting and leaving the nation’s territorial waters, it is also the responsibility of the Agency to ensure the safety of those who work on board vessels and offshore platforms as well as those who create support services from the shore to for maritime activities thrive.
“Our goal is to see a maritime sector devoid of avoidable accidents due to lack of professional enforcement. This is why we have reviewed our enforcement drive to give proper attention to Health Safety and Environmental guidelines for the benefit of everyone participating in the sector,” the DG further said.
He charged enforcement officers to be safety conscious whenever they are carrying out their routine inspections adding that they must ensure that inspections and enforcement are done in such a manner that no life is put at risk.
In his remarks the Head of Health Safety and Environment Unit of NIMASA, Engr. Fred Ugo said that the Agency through the HSE Unit has set out basic guidelines of officers responsible for ensuring health and safety in maritime especially as it conforms to the environmental standards which are achievable during enforcement operations.
It is important to note that Maritime Administration and Safety Enforcement HSE Workshop is an annual event which brings maritime enforcement officers up to speed with the latest details in risk assessment. The event is also designed to boost hazard awareness in maritime enforcement towards a coherent application of safe practices.