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 document amongst others.
The NIS through the Comptroller General of Immigration, Mr Isah Jere proposed a partnership with NIMASA on the issuance of travel documents to seafarers. In their opinion, a partnership will ensure harmonization and deepen synergy as they collectively work to address the issues facing Nigeria in her coastal line and in maintaining the integrity of her territorial waters.
The two Agencies referenced “The Ease of Doing Business” policy of the government which demands that agencies of government consistently endeavour to deploy streamlined and seamless processes and procedures for the comfort of the public across various windows.
They stated that their combined partnership would make useful contributions to the maintenance of Blue Border security and National Economic prosperity if they joined forces to address emerging challenges across the country’s coastal lines.
Their partnership will cut across the sea borders where they will undertake the following activities among others: crew examination and control, signing on/signing off of embarking and disembarking vessels’ crews including stowaway control, processing of Temporary Work Permit (TWP), handling of passport referral cases, sighting of passport for consignees, granting of transit pass to disembarking/transiting crew members and granting of shore passes to deserving crews.
This collaboration would also involve the operationalization of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act, 2003, and further seeking ways of standardizing Seafarers’ Identification Documents (SID) in line with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) specifications.