By GODWIN ORITSE
FOLLOWING the ultimatum the United States Government gave to Nigeria to improve on the security situation at the nation‚Äôs seaports, the Presidency, yesterday, adduced reason why Nigeria cannot afford to take the threat lightly, saying that ‚ÄúIf the issue is not treated with urgency and accuracy, it will lead to high freight rate and the economy will suffer.‚Äù
The Presidency has given the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, and other operators, 45 days ultimatum to put necessary measures in place with a view to securing the ports.
Speaking at a stakeholders meeting in Lagos, the Senior Special Assistant to the President Goodluck Jonathan on Maritime Affairs, Mr. Leke Oyewole, said the country cannot afford to allow the United States ultimatum catch up with the industry.
Oyewole explained that with the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security, PICOMMS, out of the way and transfer of Designated Authority, D/A, responsibility to the NIMASA, the issue of who is responsible for what has now been settled.
He said: ‚ÄúThe responsibility of implementing the International Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS, code is that of NIMASA, PICOMMS did a good job but they can not continue to implement the ISPS code because they have limited capacities‚Äù.