…Rallies Stakeholders for Global Maritime Security Conference
Apparently disturbed by the rising spate of attacks on ships, sea robbery and kidnapping for ransom in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has taken an initiative to organize a Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) on how to curb incidences of piracy within the region.
The Gulf of Guinea has been rated as the world’s most pirate-infested sea.
The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) had also reported in July 2019 that among the 75 seafarers taken hostage onboard or kidnapped for ransom worldwide so far this year, 62 were captured in the Gulf of Guinea – off the coasts of Benin, Cameroon, Guinea, Nigeria and Togo.
Worldwide, the International Chamber of Commerce’s IMB Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 78 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships in the first half of 2019, compared with 107 incidents for the same period of 2018. Overall, 57 vessels were boarded successfully, representing 73% of all attacks.
Nigeria has also been reported as the hotbed for most of the reported attacks.
NIMASA as the Designated Authority and the apex maritime agency in Nigeria however is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the narrative is changed.
Recall that the agency recently secured Presidential assent and subsequent passage into law, the much awaited and now popular Anti-Piracy Law which will assist the agency in ensuring that perpetrators of maritime crimes are brought to book.
The Anti-piracy law apart from punishing criminals, will also provide job security for teeming youths in Nigeria and in the long run ensure safety of Nigerian waters.
In order to have a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, and to strengthen regional and international collaborations to extinguish maritime threats in the region, NIMASA has announced that it is set to host the Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) 2019, a high-level Maritime Security Conference hosted by Nigeria.
Information made available to DAILY TREND NEWS yesterday by NIMASA states that the conference is billed to hold at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Nigeria from 7th – 9th of October 2019.
According to the agency, the conference will help define the precise nature and scope of coordinated regional responses to maritime insecurity vis-à-vis intervention supports from external actors and partners.
It would also valuate the relevance and impacts of the various interventions initiated already to tackle maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea with a view to revising and adapting them to address the current challenges.
Other aims of the conference is to decisively move towards policy harmonization and effective implementation through regional integration and cooperation as principal method for delivering effective and efficient security in the region.
“In addition to tackling threats to maritime security, the conference would strategize alternative approach to prevent cyber security attack and other forms of emerging maritime security threats”
“Advocate for deeper global commitment to deployment of resources for ending maritime insecurity within the region timeously” NIMASA has said
The agency also assured that there would be intensive and interactive sessions during the conference, all designed to expand, address and deliver a workable framework that tackles key issues around the safety of Nigerian waterways.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari has been scheduled to give the keynote address.
Other stakeholders expected at the conference are: Secretary General, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Africa Union Commission Chairperson, Nigeria’s Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the Director General/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Maritime Administration And Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, Nigeria’s Chief of the Naval Staff, and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) President, among others.
Also expected at the conference are: Relevant Government Ministries And Agencies, Navy and Coast Guards Regulatory bodies, Maritime Lawyers and Professionals Insurance firms, Banks and Finance Sector, Oil and Gas sector, High Level Industry Practitioners, Ship Owners, among others.