Piracy decline in Gulf of Guinea :
NIMASA DG harps on sustainability, greater collaboration
*As stakeholders applaud Jamoh’s proactive measures in tackling maritime crimes
As Nigeria gains more recognition on piracy decline in its maritime environment, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, is calling for greater collaboration among relevant stakeholders to enhance sustainability now and in the long-run.
Speaking at the on-going GOG-MCF/SHADE regional conference in Abuja, Dr Jamoh pointed out :
“Our deliberations over the next two days must be forward-looking
to provide specific ways to maintain the current momentum,
offer concrete solutions to ensure sustainability on activities already achieved.
“It is exactly two years since the first joint meeting of NIMASA and the Industry Working Group. Who would have imagined that from the seeds of epileptic virtual meeting where we struggled to connect and engage online in the face of COVID-19
lockdown that today, two years after, we would all be gathered here in Abuja with Navies and industry stakeholders from all across the region towards a common objective.
He enthused : “Personally, I am overjoyed. This is a special moment. We have indeed come a long way in just a short space of 24 months. Two years ago, we connected virtually with a dark, sad and persistent cloud of blue crimes enveloping the region but today we gather with the cloud opening and we are seeing the sun gradually shining through. No one can easily forget the frequent reports of attacks on ships and kidnapping of seafarers in the Gulf of Guinea in 2019 and 2020, when they reached their peak. And the attendant negative economic effect on seaborne trade in the region.
“Today, even the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), has not only affirmed that piracy is 28-year all-time lowest in the region, Nigeria, which once seemed the worst culprit has been taken off its Red List, even as we celebrate almost two-quarters of zero attacks in 2022.
“You will agree with me that the partnership between Inter- regional Coordination Centre (ICC) and Nigeria has delivered quickly – thanks to the support of international community, especially all past SHADE plenaries and the working group members, who have shown unprecedented
engagement with the objectives.”
“More is yet to be done, if we must graduate these gains from fragile tenuousness to solid security status in the region. We must rally all state and non-state actors in the region to become believers in SHADE and
what it represents for our collective progress”.
The NIMASA boss went on :
“More is yet to be done to reinforce the narrative of a united
front forged between Navies and industry to act, in order to
enshrine deterrence amongst criminals.
“Truly, more is yet to be done by all and sundry to guaranty sustainability on all fronts of progress, that is why we have gathered here to
chart the way forward. More remains to be done in terms of legal framework to enable SHADE’s existence; the legal framework needed by more countries for better and seamless transfer agreements, harmonisation of laws and
the sharing of information.”
He continued :
“SHADE must be nurtured to remain a force for good. As members, we owe a collective duty to this forum to keep its dialogue robust and guard it from slipping into complacency,
as to become a toothless bulldog. Our SHADE must be strengthened through cooperation, coordination,
collaboration and communication. Security success can never
be solitary achievements. There must be cooperation between regional Navies like we saw recently between Nigeria and Benin”.
Speaking further, Dr Jamoh emphasised :
“More is yet to be done to sustain this
momentum, if we must reap the dividends of a calmer sea.”
More so, stakeholders who spoke at the conference applauded NIMASA’s proactive measures in tackling maritime crimes in the region, even as they called for more information sharing among member countries.