The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says some major stakeholders in the international shipping community have expressed confidence and satisfaction in the Nigeria’s efforts to contain piracy and armed robbery on her sea.
They also expressed confidence in the abilities of the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the maritime industry regulator and linchpin of the country’s antipiracy efforts, Dr. Dakuku Peterside.
According to NIMASA, Head of Maritime Safety and Security, Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), Jakob P. Larsen, stated, “The reality is that the shipping community and Dr. Peterside have been in close dialogue about the Nigerian-based piracy problem, and that we have repeatedly praised Dr. Peterside and NIMASA for their role in the preparations of antipiracy capabilities.”
BIMCO, a commercial shipping trade organisation headquartered in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, is one of the largest international organisations of ship owners in the world.
The International Association of Independent Tanker Owners (INTERTANKO) also said it was certain improved maritime safety and security were in the offing, with the current measures being put in place by NIMASA. The Marine Director of INTERTANKO, an association of independent tanker owners throughout the world, Dr. Phillip Belcher, said, “We value the close working relationship we have with the Nigerian administration and Dr. Dakuku Peterside, personally.”
The international shipping stakeholders were reacting to recent media publications alleging Nigeria might be reported to the United Nations on account of piracy.
Following disturbing reports by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) about piracy and maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria has since the inception of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration implemented a number of measures, through NIMASA, to counter the menace. The incidents affect Nigeria, among other West African countries, and the wider international community.
Dakuku said the antipiracy measures were meant to “guarantee a Nigerian maritime space devoid of criminality, where people can feel confident to trade and Nigeria can take full advantage of the rich potential of its maritime environment.”
The above objective led to the introduction of the Total Spectrum Maritime Security Strategy by NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, and other stakeholders. In actualisation of the strategy, the Federal Government initiated the Integrated Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project, with participation from the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, and NIMASA.