By editor - October 22, 2021.

The Director General (DG) of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Bashir Jamoh, has called for a multilateral and multinational collaboration and cooperation to improve safety and security of not only the Atlantic but the entire oceans and seas of the planet Earth.

The DG made this known at the 3rd seminar of the Atlantic Centre (AC) held at the ministry of National Defense, Portugal, Lisbon during the week, where he also made an appeal to the international maritime business community to recognize the improvement in security in Nigerian waters and reciprocate same by removing the war risk insurance premium charged on cargoes bound for Nigeria as well as return Nigeria to the membership of the Category ‘C’ in the forthcoming IMO Council Elections coming weeks.

Jamoh said, “We seek your vote and count on your continued confidence in the efforts of Nigeria to work in partnership with other nation states in the Gulf of Guinea to continue keeping our corridor of the Atlantic Ocean a safe passage for seafarers, their vessels and the vital supplies they transport for our common sustenance.”

According to him, the Atlantic been the second largest in the world after the Pacific, must be given due safety and security for the sustenance of international trade and other highly invaluable benefits derivable from the Atlantic seas, noting that every coastal state has an obligation to ensure the safety of navigation in its territorial seas up to 12 nautical miles, by ensuring proper and effective enforcement of its flag state implementation and part state control responsibilities.

“We should enforce all the important safety, marine pollution prevention, and control conventions and protocols it had ratified. Coastal states also assert economic rights over the resources of their seas extending 200 nautical miles and sometimes beyond in line with the UN protocols and resolutions on sustainable use of the resources of the oceans.

He appealed for the support of International Maritime Organization (IMO), which has set technical and safety standards and has adopted so many international legal instruments on the safety of navigation including marine pollution prevention and control.

“Pirates and piratical attacks have happened for more than 2000 years which arguably, may never be completely eradicated, however, the fight against criminality and insecurity at seas caused by acts of piracy, armed robbery among others must be sustained.

“With the advancement in technology resulting in faster, bigger, and sophisticated vessels that have increasingly and seamlessly facilitated international commerce, faster connectivity of the global supply chain has enhanced the growth of the world economy, through marine transportation of high valued cargoes across the world oceans and seas, piracy and other criminalities also grew in scale and intensity."

He added that, “To maintain safety and security against piracy, armed robbery, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUU), trafficking of drugs and other psychotropic substances within the Atlantic’s massive body of water, a number of multiple approaches are needed, which includes:

“A Legal and regulatory enforcement; Effective naval force for patrol and surveillance; Technology for a maritime domain awareness infrastructure.

“Others are: Intelligence and information sharing and transparency and Multinational and multilateral cooperation and collaboration, adding that the Deep Blue project aimed at combating piracy, armed robbery, and other maritime crimes within Nigeria’s territorial waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) would not lose focus.

“To further bolster Nigeria’s effort in fighting crimes at sea, the government signed into law the suppression of piracy and other Maritime offences Act, (SPOMO) 2019, which gave effect on Nigeria to the provisions of the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982, on piracy and the International Convention on the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Navigation (SUA), 1998 and its protocol,” he maintained.

Source: The Sun.

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