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The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Chairman of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside

Maritime security: We have ‘symbiotically’ suppressed piracy in Nigerian waters, Gulf of Guinea- NIMASA DG


.FG procures three helicopters, twelve fast intervention vessels for coastal surveillance

(TRADE NEWSWIRE): The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Chairman of the Association of Heads of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that that pirate’s nefarious operations in the Nigerian waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea had been reduced to the barest minimum through a ‘Symbiotic Relationship’ with concerned local and international agencies, TRADE NEWSWIRE reports.

Peterside, an Astute Management Professional, said this in Lagos recently while debunking a falsely-peddled reports that piracy was on the increase in the Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, added that it was sad that some section of the media, not TRADE NEWSWIRE were manipulating statistics to the contrary.

To corroborate his claim of continuous fight against piracy in the nation’s waters and its environs, he said the Federal Government recently approved the procurement of three helicopters and twelve fast intervention vessels to ensure coastal and aerial surveillance and patrol of the Nigerian maritime environment by the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA.

(Maritime security): has to do with the prevention of intentional damage through sabotage, subversion, or terrorism. The three main activities of maritime security have to do with Port Security, Vessel Security and Facility Security.

(Symbiotic Relationship): It is descriptively used in Management to describe a a collaboratively-beneficial relationship between individuals or groups. Symbiotic Relationship occurs when two organisms, individuals or groups of people work together by helping one another with the intent of getting help in return. In a symbiotic relationship, the two people or groups of people live together to provide the greatest benefits to one another

(Piracy): is an act of robbery or criminal violence at sea and those engaged in acts of piracy are called sea pirates.

(Gulf of Guinea): is the north easternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean between Cape Lopez in Gabon, north and west to Cape Three Points in Western region Ghana.

The intersection of the Equator and Prime Meridian (zero degrees latitude and longitude) is in the gulf, and among the many rivers that drain into the Gulf of Guinea are the Niger and the Volta, while the coastline on the gulf includes the Bight of Benin and the Bight of Bonny, according to Wikipedia.

An illustrative picture of fight against sea pirates

In a statement obtained by TRADE NEWSWIRE from the Head, Corporate Communications, NIMASA, Isichei Osamgbi, the NIMASA DG, noted that inter agency and regional cooperation through bilateral agreements among others, as well as effective maritime domain awareness and strong maritime legislation to criminalise and punish piracy was fundamental in addressing the challenges.

Peterside said, “In the area of inter agency cooperation, it is expedient to mention that NIMASA recently renewed its Memorandum of Understanding with the Nigerian Navy to strengthen collaboration between NIMASA and the Navy to enhance the safety and security of navigation in our waters.

“ As well as leverage on the use of the Federal Government’s Falcon Eye Satellite systems domiciled with the Nigerian Navy including NIMASA’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety Systems to respond to distress calls within Nigerian waters in order to prevent and adequately respond to threats within the Nigerian maritime environment.”

In view of the aforementioned, Peterside said the governments of the West and Central African Countries including Nigeria at the regional level, subscribed to the Continental Maritime Charter on maritime security, safety and development in Africa, in Lome, Togo on the 15th of October, 2016.

According to him, the aim was to strengthen inter-Agency and transnational coordination and cooperation among member countries in the area of maritime domain awareness, fight against all forms of maritime crimes, prevention and control of pollution of the seas and to promote economic growth of the continent of Africa.

Map of the Gulf of Guinea

The statement reads in part, “In order to bolster the aforementioned efforts of the Agency to ensure a virile maritime sector through a robust legislative framework to criminalise and punish piracy and other maritime crimes committed in our waters to serve as a deterrent to offenders; Nigeria has prepared a draft Anti-Piracy Bill to give effect to the relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982 and the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea, 1988 and it’s Protocol of 2005 to punish and deter piracy and other maritime crimes.”

The Director, Legal Services of NIMASA Mr. Abdulsalam Suleiman also speaking, noted that the Agency is presently working with the Federal Ministry of Justice to finalise the Bill and has the assurances of the National Assembly of the expeditious passage of the Bill into law within the shortest possible time to strengthen the Country’s Anti piracy crusade.

Suleiman said, “It is pertinent to draw attention to the fact that some of the interventions highlighted above are already yielding positive results and have been duly noted by the international community. Worthy of mention, is the just concluded Legal Committee meeting (LEG 104) of the IMO held in London from the 26th to 28th April 2017, where the issue of piracy around the globe was discussed and the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria were not mentioned as one of the high risk areas”.

 This lends credence to the fact that Nigeria through its maritime law enforcement agencies are working assiduously in confronting maritime insecurity challenges in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Recall that as part of efforts by the Federal Government of Nigeria in demonstrating its commitment to fighting piracy and other maritime crimes, the sum of One Hundred and Eighty Six Million Dollars ($186, 000, 000. 00) was recently approved for maritime security infrastructure.

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