For the second time in about six months, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping, has extolled Nigeria’s leadership role in the quest for security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
In a letter addressed to Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, IMO specifically highlighted NIMASA’s contribution to the war against piracy and maritime crimes in the region, including facilitation of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019, and initiation of the Deep Blue Project. It said they were proof of the country’s abiding determination to lead the charge against maritime crimes in the region.
Jamoh had earlier, in a virtual address to a meeting of the G7++Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++FOGG), expressed Nigeria’s resolve to lead efforts to achieve security in the region. He said Nigeria’s strategy against insecurity in the region would be based on home-grown solutions. But the NIMASA Director-General also sought international cooperation and technical assistance, particularly as regards maritime security strategy and policy development in line with IMO instruments.
In the letter signed on behalf of the IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, by the Director, Maritime Safety Division, Heike Deggim, the United Nations maritime organ praised “the efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for its contribution to the fight against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea.”
IMO said: “From the successful enactment of new legislation in the form of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act, 2019, complete with the forthcoming Guidelines, to the initiation and implementation of the C4i Deep Blue Project, Nigeria continues to demonstrate its leadership in the region with regard to maritime domain awareness and the enhancement of maritime security amongst littoral States.
“IMO remains committed to supporting the good work being done by Gulf of Guinea States, such as Nigeria, to improve maritime governance and to enhance maritime security in terms of both current and emerging threats and challenges. It is, therefore, imperative that States adopt a strategic approach, in order to ensure effective implementation and compliance.”