The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has attributed the high cost of foodstuff in the country to the war-risk insurance premium on Nigerian-bound vessels and cargoes.
The Director General, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, who said this recently in Port-Harcourt, pleaded with major insurance companies around the world to stop the collection of the premium on Nigerian bound vessels and cargoes.
He said that the imposition of the war-risk insurance on all Nigerian-bound cargoes was a deadly blow to the economy as its negative impact on the cost of goods is felt by every Nigerian.
Jamoh said Nigeria has done so much to stamp out piracy on its territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea, adding that the country deserved the international insurance companies’ consideration on the removal of the war risk insurance from vessels and goods destined for Nigeria.
He further disclosed that since the inception of the deep blue project, Nigeria has maintained a zero pirate attack, noting that the two recent pirate incidents on the country’s waters were unsuccessful.
“Nigeria is an import-dependent country. It is either what we consume is imported or the materials for making them are imported. Therefore, such insurance premium which is a penalty for the insecurity we had then on our waters translated into the high cost of goods in the market. I believe that once it is removed, though it is most difficult for anything that goes up to come down in Nigeria, in this case, competition will definitely force the price of goods down. So, the international community will be reciprocating the achievement Nigeria has recorded in the fight against piracy using the innovative deep blue project. That is the message I am taking to the world,” Jamoh said.
Earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, affirmed the satisfaction of the Federal Government with the highly improved state of security in the Nigerian territorial waters since the commencement of the deep blue project.
He said, “An intelligence mapping of the activities of pirates and sea criminals revealed that most pirates and sea robbery attacks were planned on land, executed on land and the proceeds are also taken to the land. Therefore, the activities of the maritime security unit, especially their logistics which is made possible by the armoured personnel carriers’ technicians are very critical and indispensable in the entire deep blue architecture due to their role in dismantling the operational structures of these criminals,” he said.