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Standardised digital communication key to effective port administration, says NIMASA

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), yesterday, said international collaboration to attain standardised digitalisation is essential for maritime administrations and stakeholders across the world to communicate effectively.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said this is in line with the provisions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, (IALA).

Jamoh said this in a statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edward, in Lagos on Sunday.

Jamoh was quoted to have said this at the launch of Denmark’s first commercial satellite, Sternula-1, in Aalborg, Denmark, adding that NIMASA was participating in the testing stage of an international satellite system that would improve communication channels for vessels at sea.

He noted that it was part of the management’s quest to ensure adoption of global best practices in the Nigerian maritime sector.

According to him, the IMO set the requirements for the e-Navigation strategy implementation plan while IALA developed the technical solutions such as Automatic Identification System (AIS) as part of measures to ease and promote digital communication in the maritime industry.

“Ultimately, seaborne transport depends on a secure and trustworthy flow of information. In this new reality, access to quality data is essential for ship managers to make decisions, act on market opportunities, and meet new requirements.

“A well digitalised system leads to faster access to information, improved customer experience, increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved decision making, improved information security, higher mobility, and automation of business processes amongst others,” he said.

In the port sector, Jamoh said digitalisation is the foundation of Smart Ports and Digital Twins, both technological tools and solutions that could transform real-time data into accurate and more precise business decisions.

This, he said, would render port operations extremely effective as it interconnected all sectors of the maritime supply chain.

A well digitalised system leads to faster access to information, improved customer experience, increased productivity, lower operational costs, improved decision making, improved information security, higher mobility, and automation of business processes amongst others.

While noting that digitalisation transforms organisations from reactive to being proactive in areas such as safety and safety reporting, the NIMASA DG said there were massive untapped potential for the shipping industry to improve operational efficiency.

He added that it could be through harnessing ship-to-shore data flows that would positively impact commercial, environmental and safety performance reporting processes.

Recall that NIMASA, in the third quarter of 2022, signed a Letter-of-Intent with the Danish telecoms company, Sternula, on participation in the Worldwide AIS 2.0 Demo Project.

This would allow for early testing of digital services over the satellite-based AIS 2.0 at the beginning of 2023.

Sternula-1 and the built-in AIS 2.0 technology also called VDES, a new communication solution to implementing a global e-Navigation strategy.

AIS 2.0 is an extension to AIS, adding two-way data channels over VHF by using special satellite channels which meant  that every ship with a VHF antenna would be able to communicate globally. (NAN)

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