SECURE ANCHORAGE AREA: NAVY, NIMASA INTENSIFY SECURITY EFFORTS
* Launches Land, Sea, Air Operational Assets
* No Security Vacuum in Nigerian Waters – Says Dr Jamoh
The Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) are intensifying efforts to protect, interdict, and deter threats around vessels anchored in Secure Anchorage Area (SAA), off the coast of Lagos.
Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, announced this in Lagos during a courtesy visit by the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN).
Jamoh said the new security effort was encapsulated in total deployment of assets under Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project. The deployment is on-going with the primary aim of providing security in Nigerian waters, the Gulf of Guinea and tackling the security challenges encumbering shipping business in the area.
“We are deploying high-tech assets under the Deep Blue Project to not only deal with piracy and armed robbery in our territorial waters frontally, but also respond to ncreasing sophistication of these maritime crimes”.
“The Nigerian Navy and NIMASA are partnering to ensure a high level of security in our waters. We are tying up all loose ends and very soon everything would become clear to stakeholders and operators”, he said.
The DG, who spoke in response to security concerns raised by SAN following cancellation of the SAA contract by President Muhammadu Buhari and transfer of responsibility for area’s protection to NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, said there was no security vacuum in Nigerian waters.
According to Jamoh, “I can assure you that there is no security vacuum in our waters. From what I know, the SAA is more protected than ever before. The Nigerian Navy has recently deployed 14 warships to enhance security in the area and the wider maritime domain. Other assets, including Special Mission Vessels, interceptor boats, and Special Mission Aircraft, are also being deployed under the Deep Blue Project.
“Besides, there is an emergency mobile line for any vessel in distress in our waters, +2348030685167, and the NIMASA emergency response room can be reached on Channel 16 of the Very High Frequency (VHF) radio channel.”
He added, “The menace of maritime insecurity is an age-long challenge in the industry and government is doing its best within the available resources to address the issues, with continuous patrols by dedicated vessels to the Secure Anchorage Area. We appeal for a healthy working relationship and further deliberations are welcome.”
He said NIMASA was networking with international bodies, such as INTERTANKO and INTERCARGO, to ensure security in the Gulf of Guinea, with the Yaoundé-based International Coordination Centre (ICC) also playing a central role.
The DG told stakeholders to always contact the Command, Control, Computer Communication and intelligence (C4i) centre located at the NIMASA-owned Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre (NMRDC), Kirikiri, in Lagos, for necessary actions under the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act.
The spokesperson for the group and Managing Director of Mediterranean Shipping Company, Andrew Lynch, had urged the NIMASA management to intensify measures to maintain security in the SAA.
Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh (second right); Managing Director, Mediterranean Shipping Company Nig. Ltd, Mr. Andrew Lynch (middle); General Manager, Hull Blyth Nigeria, Mr. Peter Kotze (right); Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, Mr Ahmed Shehu (second left); and Executive Director, Finance and Administration, NIMASA, Mr Chudi Offodile (left), during a meeting between SAN and NIMASA, at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos.
Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh (right), presenting a souvenir to head of delegation and Managing Director, Mediterranean Shipping Company Nig. Ltd, Mr. Andrew Lynch, during a meeting between the Shipping Association of Nigeria (SAN) and NIMASA at the Agency’s headquarters Lagos.