Nigeria and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé have formed a forum to boost regional and international efforts targeted at securing the Gulf of Guinea (GOG).
Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum was floated after series of meetings between the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, representing Nigeria, and the Executive Director of ICC Yaoundé, Admiral Narciso Fastudo Jr.
A joint statement by NIMASA, the Nigerian Navy, and ICC Yaoundé said the GOG Forum, which was formed to facilitate shared awareness and de-confliction of activities in the Gulf of Guinea, will be open to all GOG countries with similar capacities to join on a voluntary basis.
According to the statement “the GOG Forum will focus on counter-piracy and armed robbery by bringing together regional, international, industry and NGO partners to advance and coordinate near term maritime activities with a view to working toward a set of common operational objectives in order to protect seafarers and ships operating off the coast of West and Central Africa.”
The statement noted that Jamoh and Fastudo have agreed to hold the first virtual meeting of GOG Forum as soon as practicable, saying modalities would be announced later. “Due to its complementary nature, the G7++Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea would support the creation of GOG-MCF/SHADE, which would comprise an open plenary session; working group meetings; working group chairs, coordination meeting; and a plenary session report.
“The new maritime security framework speaks to our own integrated approach to security in the country’s waters and the Gulf of Guinea. We have always believed in bringing all maritime stakeholders on board in the search for security, and we have proffered that as a solution at various forums with our regional and international partners. I am confident that cooperative efforts and shared capabilities are the best approach to success in our collective quest for maritime security.” Jamoh said.