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HomeGlobalAnti-Piracy War: UN Applauds Nigeria’s Leadership Role

Anti-Piracy War: UN Applauds Nigeria’s Leadership Role

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For the second time in about six months, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialized 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.”

“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 the 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” the letter stated.

Recall that Jamoh had stressed Nigeria’s efforts to rid the Gulf of Guinea of maritime crime, using local initiatives anchored on the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, with the Command, Control, Communication, Computers, and Intelligence Centre (C4i Centre); SPOMO Act; and intensified regional cooperation. He welcomed the support of international bodies and stakeholders, such as the G7++FOGG, but emphasized the imperative of regional collaboration as Nigeria’s preferred strategy.

Recall also that Lim had in June similarly written to Jamoh following the arrest and prosecution of some suspected pirates by Nigeria. The Secretary-General said the moves sent a “strong and valuable message” to the international community about Nigeria’s commitment to safety and security in its waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

In the glowing appraisal, Lim said of Jamoh, “I commend your leadership and proactive response. I would also like to reiterate my congratulations to the Nigerian Navy on the successful capture and arrest of pirates from the fishing trawler Hailufeng 11, and more recently on the rescue of the crewmembers of the containership Tommi Ritscher.

Those actions, together with all the other initiatives you highlighted in our meeting, including progress with the Deep Blue Project, send a strong and valuable message to the international community with respect to the considerable efforts your government is making to curb piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.”

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