By Chisom Nwatu.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has inaugurated an Expert Level Planning Team (ELPT) to draft the National Maritime Security Strategy (NMSS) to sustain the agency’s successes in the fight against piracy.
Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA director-general, who inaugurated the team, said maritime security would always be of priority concern to the agency, noting that it is the bedrock and guarantee of every meaningful shipping enterprise.
Jamoh also commended the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for its technical support to Nigeria by assigning facilitators to assist the country. He said the security strategy would become the peak of all the various efforts, initiatives and partnerships the agency started out under its maritime security, safety and shipping development upon his assumption of office in March 2020.
“There can be no doubt to the fact that maritime security is the bedrock and guarantee of every meaningful shipping enterprise. Ranging from the crew to cargo to carrier to the coast and quayside, there must be security all the way for confidence to drive shipping economics,” Jamoh said.
“Maritime security has always been and will continue to remain a priority. You are all aware of the current successes achieved in ensuring maritime security within the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) as a whole,” he said.
Jamoh specifically noted that the GoG region is experiencing an unprecedented decline in piracy incidents over the past three decades. He said the International Maritime Bureau (the IMB) just last week finally confirmed all the progress Nigeria has made and announced for months – that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea has declined.
“This is a fact that we can all be proud of. Also, this is the product of concerted efforts of the Agency in collaboration with other relevant government bodies such as the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, the Department of State Security (DSS), and several other state and non-state actors and stakeholders having security responsibilities,” he said.
Jamoh also pointed out that NIMASA was mindful and cautious of the dynamic nature of maritime security threats, hence the constant need to take deliberate steps to ensure sustainability of its achievements through the establishment of a coordinated approach in dealing with issues of maritime security in order to provide adequate security measures and strategies.