Piracy declines in Gulf of Guinea :
As NIMASA seeks greater synergy for sustainability
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh says the Agency is committed to continuously collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure Nigeria attains the status of hub of maritime activities in the West, Central Africa region and also maritime player globally.
Dr. Jamoh reiterated this in Lagos during an interactive session with media stakeholders over the weekend. He noted the steady progress in terms of maritime security, safety and growing capacity for the industry.
The NIMASA DG said that statistics released by International Maritime Bureau, IMB, showing piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea dropping from 81 in year 2020 to 34 in 2021 representing 58.02% is not by accident; but achievement made by conscious collaborative efforts by the Agency, the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the region.
He also noted that the IMB report also shows 62% decrease in the number of crew kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, which reduced from 150 in 2020 to 57 in 2021.
Commenting on statutory levies stakeholders pay to the Federal Government through the Agency, Jamoh reaffirmed that NIMASA levies are in accordance with the provisions of the Act which set up the Agency.
His explanation :
“The NIMASA Act 2007, which is our guiding principle states that our charges must be a component of the gross freight and must be paid by shipowners not in terms of product to marketers or any other entity.
“The payments either in hard currency or Naira, are made into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.
In the long-run, it is for the benefit of all Nigerians that the country does not lose any source of revenue through underpayment in statutory charges or levies”.
About the recent explosion, which occurred on Trinity Spirit Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), the NIMASA DG described the incident as unfortunate. He said NIMASA team is working with other relevant departments of Government to establish immediate and remote causes of the fire explosion.
He noted that the issue of environmental pollution was highlighted in the preliminary report and the Agency will work with International Maritime Organisation (IMO) through the use of International Oil Pollution Compensation
(IOPC) funds for compensation of all the losses within and around the facility. He said the public will be informed of every detail concerning the incident as the situation unfolds.
The DG used the opportunity to reel out some of the achievements of the Agency in 2021, including improved contribution to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government, from N31 billion in 2020 to N37 billion in 2021, increase of 43.6% in condition survey for Flag Registration by the Agency in 2021, as against the performance in year 2020.
Others include reactivation of online certificate verification platform to reduce falsification of Nigerian Seafarers Certificate and to enhance employment of Nigerian Seafarers; improved strategic collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Airforce, Police, Army and the office of National Securiry Adviser, a move, Jamoh noted helps to reduce piracy attacks off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea, as there was no single attack on Nigerian waters in the 3rd quarter of 2021, as reported by the International Maritime Bureau.