By Kenneth Jukpor
The recent Anti-piracy strides championed by Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea has fetched Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy accolades from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The apex maritime regulatory body, IMO, has expressed delight with the vendetta against pirates in the Gulf of Guinea championed by Nigeria which has seen 10 pirates arrested for hijacking Chinese vessel HAILUFANG II.
The fishing trawler was taken by pirates on Friday, May 15, 2020 in the Ivorian exclusive economic zone with 18 crew members aboard – eight Chinese, seven Ivorian and three Ghanaian, all crew were rescued.
Last week, NIMASA also handed over the fishing vessel Marine 707 and 51 crew suspected to be carrying out illegal activities in the Gulf of Guinea to the Ghanian and South Korean authorities for further investigation and possible prosecution.
The Secretary General of the organization, Mr. Kitack Lim, revealed this in a letter to the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
Lim said he was pleased by the update provided by Jamoh during a virtual meeting which held on May 21 during which all the efforts taken by Nigeria to address maritime security threats in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea were presented.
Commending NIMASA Director General for such leadership and proactive response, the IMO scribe also congratulated the Nigerian Navy on the “successful capture and arrest of pirates from the fishing trawler Hailufeng11, and more recently on the rescue of the crewmembers of the containership Tommi Ritsche”.
“Those actions, together with all the other initiatives you highlighted in our meeting, including progress with the Deep Blue Project, send a strong and valuable message to the international community with respect to the considerable efforts your government is making to curb piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
Lim assured that he was ready to work with NIMASA for such important priority in the fight against piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.