By Kenneth Jukpor
In a bid to boost maritime security in Nigeria and the African continent, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to organize an international maritime security summit tagged, ‘Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) 2019’.
According to the organizers, the conference which will be hosted in Abuja, is a high-level Maritime Security Conference which aims to facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region.
The summit is also expected to develop tailored solutions as well as coordinate efforts at strengthening regional and international collaborations to extinguish maritime threats in the region.
The conference would explore maritime insecurity for economic, social, political and environmental implications globally, to define the precise nature and scope of coordinated regional responses to maritime insecurity vis-à-vis intervention supports from external actors/partners.
In addition to tackling threats to maritime security, at the event alternative approaches to prevent cyber security attack and other forms of emerging maritime security threats will be discussed while effective policy implementation through regional integration would be deliberated.
The conference to be held at the prestigious International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria from the October 7th – 9th, 2019, is expected to provide a holistic solution or a template to quell the maritime security issues which have led to extra cost on shipping to Nigeria via Extra War Risk charges and other surcharges in the region.
Expected attendees for the summit include; relevant Government Ministries and Agencies, Navy and Coast Guards, Regulatory bodies, Maritime Lawyers and Professionals, Insurance firms, Banks and Finance Sector experts, Oil and Gas sector veterans, High Level Industry Practitioners, Ship Owners and Charterers, National Ship Owners / Charteres and Oil Companies Chief Executives and Trade Executives, Classification Societies, Industry stakeholders and professionals, International, Continental and Regional Bodies, Shipping logistics, Ship Brokers, Ship Managers and Agents, Support services, Marine Support Services, Foreign Missions and Diplomats, Policy Makers, Researchers Institutions and Non Governmental Organisations.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari would deliver the keynote address, while other bigwigs to grace the ocassion include; the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside would deliver the welcome address.
From the global scene, the Secretary-General, International Maritime Organization (IMO), Mr. Kitack Lim would be present and for the region, the Chairperson of African Union (AU), H.E. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt and the President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) President Muhamadou Issoufou of Niger, would be attending.
Some of the panel discussions would be on; Technology Deployment in Maritime Security: Emerging Issues; Future of Maritime Security: Trends, Emerging Threat Vectors and Capability Requirements; Enhancing Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA); Maritime Governance, Security and the Blue Economy; Ensuring Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Effective Regional Cooperation and Roles of International Partners; Balancing Geopolitical, Economic and Geostrategic Interests in Maritime Security Initiatives.
Others are: Maritime Security, Legal Framework and Regulatory Issues in the Gulf of Guinea; Maritime Security: Moving Beyond Policy Statements to Taking Collective Actions; Maritime Security Partnerships: The Roles of Civil Societies; Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures (HSOP): A Model for Cooperation.