President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday seeks global collaboration for Nigeria and other African countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) to maximise the opprtunuties inherent in the region.
The president in his keynote address at the Global Maritime Conference, tagged, “Managing and Securing our Waters”, held in Abuja assured participants that his administration will not relent in ridding the Nigerian waters and Gulf of Guinea of Piracy and other maritime insecurity.
President Buhari who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada also called for collective and collaborative efforts from all member nations in the GoG including international allies.
President Buhari further stated that security in GoG is vital and central to global trade.
His words, “the conveying of this timely confrence here in Nigeria is an indication that we will not relent in effort to rid our waters of the piracy scourge. To succeed in our objecrive, a collective effort from all stakeholders represented here today is essential.
“I reiterate the need for a joint effort because security in the GoG is vital and Central to global trade in view of the fact that many critical trade routes connecting the continent to the rest of the world , run through the Gulf. Also, the GoG encompasses diverse geographical, geological and rich cultural heritage with many of its states endowed with vast oil and gas deposits critical in addressing global energy demands.”
The president also informed the global audience that his administration signed into law, Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act to provide legal and institutional framework for safe, secure shipping in Nigeria water.
“I am pleased to mention that Nigeria has put in place a supressionof piracy and other maritime offences act, which I signed into law on the 24th of June 2019. The act is detailed and would provide the much needed legal and institutional framework for Nigeria to ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigerian waters.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said there is global concern over level of insecurity at the GoG.
The Minister who was represented by the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki called on other African countries for strict legislation against piracy.”
He said, “No doubt, there is a significant global concern on the rising spate of maritime insecurity and the perception that the Gulf of Guinea Region accounts for most of these cases. It is for this reason that Nigeria has decided to take the lead on behalf of the Gulf of Guinea states in convening this Conference to examine the strategies and coordinated responses in place to address maritime insecurity.
“Whilst there have been several endeavors to address the broad array of real and potential threats in the Gulf of Guinea over time, the approach this time is to appraise the relevance and impacts of the various interventions initiated already to tackle maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea to revise and adapt them to address the current challenges.”
“The absence of legal frameworks within member states seems to be a significant challenge in the regional effort to stem the tide. Nigeria, in this regard thankfully has put in place detailed legislation in the form of a Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act to tackle and repress piracy and other maritime crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.”
“I firmly believe that the result of our efforts would foster better cooperation in addressing the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea for the overall benefit of member states and the world at large.”