NIMASA, Sternula MoU on VHF data exchange

From Idu Jude, Abuja

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Sternula Denmark on full-scale Very High Frequency (VHF) Data Exchange System (VDES) space capabilities between the Agency and Sternula.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh, OFR, who signed on behalf of the Agency noted that the international partnership to enhance vessel to vessel/ land communication in Nigeria will not only enhance safety and security of navigation in Nigerian waters, but also improve productivity of seafarers. 

Jamoh, however, described the move as a booster to the Agency’s digitalisation efforts, said that it would further provide alternate communication channels for vessels in line with provisions of the International Maritime Organization IMO, and the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities, IALA.

Accordingly, he said, “access to timely information is key to a viable seaborne transport, particularly in this dispensation of Blue Economy.

In this new reality, there is the need for ship managers to gain access to quality data, which is essential for ship managers to make decisions, while also acting on market opportunities. A well digitalized 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‚ÄĚ, Jamoh said.

He noted that the IMO set the requirements for the e-Navigation strategy implementation plan while, IALA develops the technical solutions such as AIS as part of measures to ease and promote digital communication in the Maritime Industry

The MoU signed by Jacob Weibrent of Sternula and witnessed by the Danish Consul General to Nigeria Jette Bjerrum will see to a VHF Data Exchange System connectivity via Sternula fleet micro satellites. This is to make NIMASA Africa’s leading Maritime Administration with seamless communication between shores and Ships thus improving safety of Lives at Sea. 

Sternula-1 and the built-in AIS 2.0 technology, also called VDES, is 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 means that every ship with a VHF antenna will be able to communicate globally.

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