Secretary General of International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Katick Lim, has called for collaboration by stakeholders to overcome the security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea while acknowledging the efforts of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to tackle insecurity in the region.
The IMO Secretary-General pledged that the organization would support Nigeria in the tackling the security challenges.
“We at the IMO are very much interested. It is gladdening to note that something is being done about the issue of security in the Gulf of Guinea. Something is happening much more than ever before. We want to cruise together. I think we can make a big difference with collaboration from all stakeholders.
“The global maritime security conference in Abuja is also very important. It is a ground-breaking conference to chart a way forward for securing the Gulf of Guinea. IMO will actively participate,” said Kitack Lim.
Lim gave the support at an IMO-sponsored Maritime Security and Facilitation (MSF) meeting in London. Kitack Lim chaired the meeting which was attended by officials of the IMO, management of NIMASA led by the Director-General, Dr. Dakuku Peterside; representatives Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO), International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO), Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), and President of Chevron Worldwide, Mr. Mark Ross.
All the organizations pledged to support efforts of NIMASA towards enhancing security in the Gulf of Guinea.
Speaking at the meeting, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Director General of NIMASA, noted that Nigerian laws do not allow private armed guards onboard vessels in the country’s territorial waters. He called for constant engagement on the Deep Blue Project, and more support for the ICC Yaounde to enhance information sharing capacity in the Gulf of Guinea.
Stakeholders at the meeting acknowledged the attempts by the Nigerian government to combat maritime crimes and promised to back those efforts with more assets to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. They also promised to support the hosting of the Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) in Abuja.
The NIMASA Director-General said, “Over 80 countries have confirmed participation, 28 Navies across the globe have also confirmed participation, with 15 Chiefs of Naval Staff personally leading their delegations to the conference.
“The side event to be hosted by the ICC will have different working groups and agreements at these sub cells will be presented at plenary during the event,’’ said Peterside.