27 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Federal Government has approved an Integrated National Security Strategy (INSS) for the Nigerian maritime sector.
The strategy, which will be implemented in collaboration with other countries in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), is aimed at stemming the tide of insecurity on the region’s territorial waterways.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Transporation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, during a paper presentation titled; “Nigeria’s role in responding to the causes and consequences of maritime insecurity” at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London.
He stated that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is already implementing a comprehensive maritime strategy in collaboration with other partners in order to enhance the fight against piracy attacks in the region.
Accordingly, he hinted the audience that “In pursuit of this objective, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria visited Malabo in Equatorial Guinea last year, where the two countries signed an agreement on the establishment of combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol committee to enhance the security of the Gulf of Guinea and help curb maritime crimes like piracy, crude oil theft and smuggling.”
Amaechi noted that NIMASA has established a command and control centre for enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional cooperation amongst others, all geared towards an enhanced water security and by extension, the entire nation.
The minister also used the opportunity to assure the international community that the anti-piracy bill which is currently before the national assembly will hopefully be passed before the end of this legislative year.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, who,, at the event, delivered a paper titled; “The problem of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea is real”, noted that the agency, through collaboration with other relevant government bodies, is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring zero tolerance to all forms of piracy and illegalities on the nation’s territorial waterways and the entire Gulf of Guinea.