By Steve Agbota
The United States Coast Guard, USCG, through Captain Brian Lisko of the US Department of State has commended the efforts of the Nigerian Government to suppress criminality in Nigeria’s maritime domain and by extension the Gulf of Guinea.
Capt. Brian Lisko who stated this while on a fact finding visit to the Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), also commended the Agency for the role it played in achieving a robust regional collaboration to enhance safety in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said the US Coast Guard desires improved collaboration with NIMASA and relevant Agencies in maintaining the momentum of recent success that has resulted in recording one year of piracy free Nigerian waters.
“We must commend the leading role which NIMASA has played in reducing piracy in the region through the deployment of its Deep Blue Project as well as its partnership with other maritime nations. The international community has taken note of this and we wish to encourage you to keep it up. We propose that a US Coast Guard maritime adviser be deployed toLagos with the consent of relevant authorities, with that person reporting back to the Coast Guard and advising on deployment of technical experts and tools to assist NIMASA’s efforts,” he said.
He further noted that the ultimate goal of the US Coast Guard is to help its partners by working hand in hand in the area of Port State Control and Maritime Administration.
“As we seek to commence this endeavor, we came to Nigeria to study the maritime stakeholders, among which NIMASA, through its reputation and scope of responsibilities, is foremost on our list,” he added.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, noted that the USCG had visited the Agency several times in the past as a partner in progress, while calling for greater involvement in areas of technical co-operation and joint exercises.
“I would like to re-iterate the Agency’s appreciation for all the support from the United States over the years. I have to say that your current visit is quite timely as it comes at a time when the country is attempting to diversify towards the Blue Economy.”
“I recall that in the past, the USCG had visited Nigeria to conduct assessment tours of the country’s numerous ports and jetties to ascertain the ISPS compliance levels. We welcome a resumption of these visits even as we believe that you will increase your support in terms of technical assistance,” he said.