The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has charged enforcement officers in the agency to comply with safety rules to curb marine accidents and other hazards associated with marine operations in the nation’s waterways.

Peterside gave the charge 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 in Lagos.

He expressed delight that the collaboration focused on Health Safety and Environment (HSE), especially the safety of those who enforce rules and regulations.

He explained further that as a safety administration, the government would not be assessed based on local standards because operational safety, especially when it comes to the maritime sector, has to conform to global standards.

While maintaining that that is what is being advocated in NIMASA, the industry regulator said that it remained the agency’s responsibility to ensure safety and security of vessels visiting and leaving the nation’s territorial waters and 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.

He expatiated: “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”

He charged enforcement officers ensure that inspections and enforcement were done in such a manner that no life is put at risk.

The NIMASA boss explained that the capacity building training would provide hands-on safety procedures, which aid the maritime enforcement team carry out their responsibilities under the NIMASA Act 2007 and related legal instruments with compliance with HSE regulations, solely for identification, assessment and control of hazards prone to enforcement operations in onshore and offshore facilities.

In his remarks, the agency’s Head of HSE, Engr. Fred Ugo, said that the NIMASA, 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.