The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) have agreed to deepen existing interagency collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on seafarers’ travel documents, amongst others.
This agreement was reached when the Comptroller General of the NIS, Mr. Isah Idris Jere led senior officials of the Service on a working visit to the Management of NIMASA.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh noted that the role of the Nigerian Immigration Service in enhancing security in the maritime domain is crucial, adding that seamless issuance of travel documents to seafarers is a key component in the nation’s quest to grow the maritime industry.
According to Jamoh, “Security on land is key to achieving a safe and secure maritime domain. NIMASA appreciates the need to work closely with the Immigration Service to improve security in the maritime domain. We need the Service to play a major role in issues of crew nationality, seafarers travel document and managing issues of stowaways, amongst others.
The DG and the Immigration Comptroller General thus agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for the working relationship.
The NIMASA DG also commended the contribution of the NIS in the implementation of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, stating, “The passing into law of the SPOMO Act, and subsequent prosecutions recorded under that law has involved working closely with the NIS. With that being said, NIMASA will continue to offer our helping hand to the Nigeria Immigration Service even as we anticipate further collaboration.”
On his part, the NIS Comptroller-General identified issuance of temporary work permits to international vessel crews as well as preventing stowaways, as areas of frequent collaboration between both organs of government while also commending NIMASA’s automation of dockworkers registration nationwide.
According to him, “Our visit to NIMASA is a signal that the Nigeria Immigration Service seeks continued collaboration and deepened synergy as we collectively work to address the issues facing us in our coastal lines and in maintaining the integrity of our territorial waters.
“We welcome the agency’s automation of dockworkers registration and issuance of biometric identity cards as a great step in the task of securing the nation’s ports.”