*To combat piracy, illegal fishing
23 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — A continental maritime security strategy is being contemplated by African maritime nations to adopt a common platform aimed at checkmating sea piracy and illegal fishing on the continent.
Maritime nations on the continent are also putting their various strategies together for presentation to the African Union for adoption.
Nigeria has also set up a Committee made up of representatives from various government agencies with relevance to the maritime businesses.
It was gathered that the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, are leading other government agencies to drive the process of churning out the country’s maritime security strategy.
A ranking official at the security department of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, disclosed that other members of the Committee includes the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, NSC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is the anchor agency, the Ministry of Agriculture for the issue of illegal fishing and the National Inland Waterways Authority, NIWA.
It was also gathered that the move will streamline all issues including legal that have stunted efforts in the fight against sea piracy, illegal fish and poaching.
The last time the Committee met was at the Ministry of Defence in November 2016 where the Minister of State for Defence chaired a meeting on behalf of the Minister.
The ranking official at the NPA has drafted the Nigeria Maritime security strategy which will be submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in due course.
The President will in turn present a draft bill to the National Assembly for legislation, after which it will be presented to the African Union Commission as Nigeria’s contribution to the African Maritime security strategy.
While speaking on the development, Lucky Aghomi, the Chief Executive Officer of Diddan Consulting said that the issue of a continental maritime security strategy was discussed at the just concluded Security exhibition held in Lagos earlier in the week.
Speaking in a similar vein, retired Navy Captain Abel Memuduaghan said that he has mixed feeling about the development noting that the Gulf of Guinea Commission had failed to address the maritime security challenge in Africa.