To stem insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, the Federal Government of Nigeria has approved an Integrated National Security Strategy (INSS) for the Nigerian maritime sector. The INSS will be implemented in collaboration with other countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
According to a release, Nigeria’s Transportation Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi disclosed this at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London during a paper on “Nigeria’s role in responding to the causes and consequences of maritime insecurity” which he delivered.
He stated further that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was already implementing a comprehensive maritime strategy in collaboration with other partners to enhance the fight against piracy attacks in the region.
According to him, “In pursuit of this objective, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited Malabo in Equatorial Guinea last year, where the two countries signed an agreement on the establishment of combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol committee to enhance the security of the Gulf of Guinea and help curb maritime crimes like piracy, crude oil theft and smuggling.”
Speaking further, Amaechi noted that NIMASA has established a command and control centre for enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional cooperation amongst others, all geared towards an enhanced water security and by extension, the entire nation.
The Minister also used the opportunity to assure the international community that the anti-piracy bill which is currently before the national assembly will hopefully be passed before the end of this legislative year.
Also speaking at the event, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside noted that NIMASA through collaboration with other relevant government bodies was leaving no stone unturned in ensuring zero tolerance to all forms of piracy and illegalities on the nation’s territorial waterways and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
The DG also noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria has adopted a multi-dimensional interventional approach to tackle the issues relating to piracy namely; legal/legislative approach; through the pushing of the enactment of the anti-piracy law, proper policy framework; through presidential intervention on maritime security to build regional coalition and corporation, regulatory and operational approach; through effective enforcement of port and flagged state control and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Navy and Air Force to increase response capacity amongst others.