The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr Bashir Jamoh, says effective collaboration across the various levels of government in the nation and sub-region is the reason for the decline in piracy around the Gulf of Guinea.
Jamoh disclosed this to the management of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA Channel 10, in Lagos. He added that stakeholders from within and outside the country were responsible for this decline.
He said, “Our joy is that Nigeria has exited the piracy list and the progress is steady. No single organization can lay total claim for the success.
“The Presidency is playing a major role by providing direction, the armed forces are playing their role as enshrined in the constitution, and NIMASA is playing its role by being an effective maritime administrator with the deep blue project as a focal tool.
“The National Assembly who gave us the SPOMO Act and the Judiciary who have now ensured maritime crimes are punished in Nigeria should also get credit.”
He added that the support from international maritime stakeholders had also been key to the success. According to him, the international conglomerates, including major oil marketers, international tanker owners, and international cargo owners, amongst others are part of a joint industry-working group.
Jamoh said two of the agency’s Global Maritime Distress Safety System, located at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, in Kirikiri and Takwa Bay are now fully functional.
He said, “We have greatly enhanced the safety of navigation of vessels on our waters, every vessel within the Nigerian territorial waters and even beyond can easily access our GMDSS.
“The ones in Takwa Bay and Kirikiri are now fully functional, while the other three stations located in Oron, Bonny and Escravos are almost ready to commence full operations. These are some gaps identified in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency by the IMO during its last IMO Member State Audit Scheme and we are closing these gaps.”
He added that other countries within the region are in the process of enacting laws similar to the nation’s SPOMO Act. According to him, it is time to harmonise maritime laws in the Gulf of Guinea.