Inside Business Africa INSIDE BUSINESS AFRICA APRIL 2019 - Page 18

Maritime Report I N S I D E B U S I N E S S A F R I C A Real threat Maritime emergencies a real threat for Nigeria N igeria's state of readiness for maritime emergencies along its expansive coastline in the Gulf of Guinea in West Africa remains inadequate at the very least and finding viable solutions to the massive challenge lies with consultation and on-going collaboration among stakeholders. Recently, there has been a rise in emergencies involving vessels in Nigerian waters, which accentuates the already inadequate response capacity of the nation's maritime safety agencies. Meanwhile armed attacks on vessels in the region have been attributed to both increasing global utilisation of the oceans and waterways in and around the country and the ineffectual state of structures previously in place to safeguard the maritime and marine environments. The risks involved range from pollution and environmental degradation, vessel traffic accidents, to improper use of the country's waters by rogue elements in world trade, particularly as it concerns illegal bunkering, illegal fishing activities and crude oil theft. Alongside these factors is Nigeria's poor state of readiness to respond properly and on time, with the requisite personnel, tools and equipment to emergency situations involving vessels and crew at sea. Nigeria's marine emergency response rested previously on a foundation of cooperative institutional infrastructure built on the statutory mandates and respective capabilities of the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force; the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Police (Marine Command). However, over time, the mandate or main focus of most of the entities that formed the core of Nigeria's maritime emergency response team got reviewed and in most cases, the review led to the erosion of the respective maritime elements and responsibilities. There have also been cases of interagency rivalries which have in turn complicated the process of requesting and obtaining prompt responses to distress calls on Nigerian waters. The cumulative result of these reviews and supremacy tussle is a substantially eroded maritime Dakuku Peterside emergency response capability aided by poor and inadequate budgetary allocations. Examples of the situation include the diminished capacity of the Nigerian Air Force in carrying out aerial functions pending acquisition of special mission aircrafts, helicopters and vessels with communication equipment which has lingered since conception of the Maritime Security Architecture programme by the Minister of Transportation in 2017. On the other hand, remote surveillance of the nation's waters has been limited by the inactivity of the three different maritime command control centres in Lagos namely, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) maritime domain centre, the NIMASA Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (RMRCC) in Kirikiri and the Presidential Committee on Maritime Security and Safety (PICOMMS) located at the Bar Beach in Lagos. Dr Ignatius Uche, Chairman, Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) Forum of the Lagos Maritime Security Zone (MSZ), said that millions of dollars invested in these maritime command control centres were wasting and prayed that the various government agencies would see the sense in collaborating with each other. The unfortunate inter-agency rift has been compounded by inadequate communications infrastructure and poor emergency response indices in the country. Thus with the passage of time, the capacity that NIMASA and affiliated agencies require to respond to maritime emergencies has been largely diminished, in most cases both in terms of skills capacity, equipment as well as agency procedures. Recently, the case of MV ORC IV, a distressed fishing trawler drew more attention to the challenges confronting maritime emergency response capacity in Nigeria. While the vessel which caught fire at sea was said to have been saved by combined efforts of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited and NIMASA, the trawler owner complained about the terms and conditions presented before the rescue Growing it’s wing Air Peace Orders 30 New Jets In $2.1bn Deal With Embraer Inside Business Africa keeps you up to date and well informed A ir Peace recently made a firm order for 10 brand new Embraer 195-E2 aircraft in a contract with a value of $2.12 billion based on current list prices. Headquartered in São Paulo, Embraer is a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate that produces commercial, military, executive and agricultural aircraft and provides aeronautical services. The deal which was unveiled yesterday during Embraer Business Meeting with the Aviation World in Port Louis, Mauritius, makes Air Peace the first to order the brand of jets in the whole of Africa, thereby becoming the official launch customer of the brand of aircraft in Africa. The order comprises purchase rights for a further 20 E195-E2 jets. The aircraft is a 124 seater jet in dual class and 146-seater jet in single class configurations respectively. The carrier also set a regional record in September 2018, when it ordered 10 brand new aircraft from Boeing, increasing its fleet size then to about 37 aircraft. With the new order, Air Peace's fleet size has increased to 67 aircraft. Shortly before the firm order for 10 brand new aircraft from Boeing, Air Peace set a domestic record as the first Nigerian airline to acquire and register the Boeing 777 aircraft in the country. Three of the four wide-body aircraft it acquired for its long-haul operations to Dubai, Shar jah, Johannesburg, London, Houston, Guangzhou and Mumbai have so far been delivered. Speaking on the latest order in faraway Port Louis, Air Peace chairman/chief executive officer, Mr. Allen Onyema said, "Embraer's new E195-E2 presents us with a marvel of economic performance. It's also great that we will be the first E2 operator on the African continent. We already have the ERJ145s in our fleet, so we understand the high standards of Embraer products.” ? 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