The International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping, has extolled again Nigeria’s leadership role in combating insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
IMO highlighted NIMASA’s contribution to the war against piracy and maritime crimes in the region as well as the assistance rendered to Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019
The statement contained in the letter addressed to the DG, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said the intervention were proof of the country’s dogged effort to lead the charge against maritime crimes in the region.
IMO said, “From the successful enactment of new legislation in the form of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act, 2019, complete with the forthcoming Guidelines, to the initiation and implementation of the C4i Deep Blue Project, Nigeria continues to demonstrate its leadership in the region with regard to maritime domain awareness and the enhancement of maritime security amongst littoral States”.
“Those actions, together with all the other initiatives you highlighted in our meeting, including progress with the Deep Blue Project, send a strong and valuable message to the international community with respect to the considerable efforts your government is making to curb piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.”
Lim as well acknowledged the gallant effort of the Nigerian Navy saying “I would also like to reiterate my congratulations to the Nigerian Navy on the successful capture and arrest of pirates from the fishing trawler Hailufeng 11, and more recently on the rescue of the crewmembers of the containership Tommi Ritscher.
Director General, NIMASA Bashir Jamoh has expressed Nigeria’s resolve to lead efforts to achieve security in theGulf of Guinea region using coarse method which he describes as ‘home grown.’ “Our solution to the insecurity in the GoG must be home-grown, with GoG countries cooperating amongst themselves. Commitment to this cause must become an imperative.”
The Director-General stressed Nigeria’s determination to progress the war on maritime crimes in the region, saying, “I have often maintained that Nigeria is the Gulf of Guinea and the Gulf of Guinea is Nigeria. We recognize our strategic leadership position and role in the GoG, which has informed the extent of an integrated system of investment to curb criminality in our waters, ranging from enactment of designated legislation to development of human capacity and acquirement of critical hardware and platforms.”
According to him, “Nigeria is working with the IMO to develop a National Maritime Security Strategy and in support of this has started work to form a National Maritime Security Committee consisting of the National Security Adviser, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, INTERPOL, Marine Police, and other relevant security agencies. This committee will give focus and strategic direction to our maritime security effort.”
“IMO remains committed to supporting the good work being done by Gulf of Guinea States, such as Nigeria, to improve maritime governance and to enhance maritime security in terms of both current and emerging threats and challenges. It is, therefore, imperative that States adopt a strategic approach, in order to ensure effective implementation and compliance,” Lim assured
It would be recalled that in June the Secretary General of the global maritime body, Lim had commended DG, NIMASA following the arrest and prosecution of some suspected pirates by Nigeria. Lim said the moves sent a “strong and valuable message” to the international community about Nigeria’s commitment to safety and security in its waters and the Gulf of Guinea.