Statistical records have revealed that there is a high rise in accidents on board ships, in spite of efforts to control such accidents, and that majority of the accidents are caused by human errors on board.
Security, safety of lives and efficient shipping operations in our waters have been the cardinal objectives of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the apex world maritime body for a long time kept on improving ship construction and equipment standard by continuously amending the Safety of Lives at Sea (SOLAS) convention.
Invariably, stakeholders in the maritime industry have their various role to play in complementing the various efforts of IMO towards SOLAS initiative actualisation and this also implies that various segments and operators in the industry should be committed to making their own input, to the success of SOLAS.
The Continuous rise in accident occurrence amidst the SOLAS amendments demanded comprehensive casualty investigation, so as to find the underlying causes of accidents. A careful analysis of casualty investigation reports revealed that about 80% of accident on board were caused by human error.
Inspite of the wide acceptance of the conventions, the shipping industry, media and various governments were expressing growing dissatisfaction as to its effectiveness. The best way to deal with human error was to comprehensively amend the SOLAS convention, to bring about diversion of focus and this gave birth to the Standard of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW).
The implementation of STCW was meant to improve seafarers competence, which raised the anticipation that those safety standards would remarkably improve.
Also, implementation and enforcement of the amended convention is an opportunity to raise the standard of the world’s seafarers, improve safety, and reduce accidents and pollution.
However, the question is; why do human error accidents on board ships still take place? The occurrence of such accidents have therefore brought about mixed feelings as to the effectiveness of the STCW convention and the role of stakeholders in implementing the standards.
The maritime administrations are responsible for ensuring compliance with the implementation of the convention and the ISM Code by approving related education and training, ensuring that the duties, task and responsibilities of seafarers conform to the certificate issued. They are expected to ensure that quality standards of seafarers competence are continuously monitored, certified, endorsed and revalidated, as well as accrediting maritime academies and institutions.
In the final analysis, they must submit progress reports to IMO, concerning the implementation of the convention in their respective countries.
Training institutions as it were, play crucial role in developing seafarers competence. The scope of training provided are not limited to the convention, but are expected to exceed those set by IMO, as they will take into consideration the national challenges.
To fulfill the need of international shipping, they are to provide quality seafarers, develop and train staff in maritime education as in-line with IMO models courses, and global maritime standards. They are expected to use standards of competence tables of the Standard of Training, Certification and Watch Keeping (STCW), in setting the time table for training.
They are to focus on a competence based training system where hands on training and the development of basic skills through the use of simulators, labouratory training equipment and other practical training aids are provided.
In a nutshell, they provide academic walls by ensuring a complete utilization of necessary educational equipment and updates.
On their own part shipping companies are expected to compensate for laxity in enforcement of convention provisions by the administration and implementation of rules according to the ISM Code and the necessary standard regarding emergencies and report procedures between shipboard and company.
They are to contribute to the training of company personnel and seafarers sea service by monitoring the implementation of procedures for changing crews to ensure that sufficient time is allowed for those new to the ship to have adequate opportunity to familiarise themselves with the ship, its appliances and equipment relevant to their assigned duties, thereby providing the enabling environment to allow seafarers effectively practice the seafaring profession.
As part of competence demonstration, seafarers role under STCW has to do with acquiring and demonstrating competence, while on board, keeping pace with progress by ensuring that their knowledge is up to date in the areas relevant to their duties and responsibilities on board.
On recognition and endorsement, they are to obtain and keep up to date, any recognition endorsement that may be required and serving as authorized holder of competency certificate onboard ship of the administrations concerned.
However, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in order to keep track with the implementation of the convention and other instruments relevant to ships safety, is expected to lay emphasis on human element matters with other member states, as well as encourage technical cooperation between her member states and other organization to give effect to the convention, recognise advice and assistance provided by experts with knowledge of maritime resources and for training.
From reports, a major problem with the convention is proper implementation, as the human error factors have continuously surfaced. A summary of the annual report of marine accident investigation in London involving United Kingdom merchant vessels, pleasure craft, fishing vessels and other vessels, especially on issues relating to human factor indicated that a total of 2,485 accidents occurs yearly on the average.
A number of merchant ships on international voyages were involved in collision or near misses. The causes were attributed to crew fatigue under manning, falsified hours of work records and failure to perform dedicated look out on the bridge. Other factors include poor situational awareness and anticipation/judgment by officers of the watch.
In addition, routine paper work, cargo work, maintenance, inspections, loading unloading, passage planning and actual working hours have also been identified to have contributed to accidents and incidences.
Under the STCW, checking and making judgment concerning certificates of competency lies with the body that assesses watch-keeping skills of crew members as compared to STCW table. It is here that judgement is made as to whether or not the level of competency of seafarers poses a danger to property, persons or environment, so that action for the detention of the vessel can be initiated.
Research conducted by seafarers International Research Centre concerning fraudulent practices associated with certificates of competency and endorsement show that evidence of fraudulent practice existed in certificate issued to seafarers.
Although shipping operations today are faced with many challenges, but what is crucial to ship safety is seafarers competence, and that means the competency acquired must conform to all the standard of training, certification and watch keeping.
That is why the statement made by the eastern zone coordinator of NIMASA, Sani Mohammed in Port Harcourt that his agency has nothing to do with graduates of institution that does not meet IMO standard in job placement, and other stakeholders should follow suit.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
SMEs2 days ago
Revamp Technical, Skills Acquisition Centres – CEO
News2 days ago
Arms Mop-Up: Police Plan Clampdown On VIPs, Cultists
Politics9 hours ago
Court Stops PDP From Dissolving Rivers EXCO
Business8 hours ago
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
News3 days ago
PAP Flags Off Aviation Training Programme For Ex-agitators
Rivers2 days ago
Rivers Civil Service Commission Begins Physical Interview For Successful Applicants
News10 hours ago
Tinubu Celebrates First Lady At 63
Editorial9 hours ago
As UNGA Meets …