-by our correspondent.
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has restated the need for enhanced stakeholder collaboration in tackling maritime security challenges in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, made the call at the Chief of the Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC) in Kano State, in a paper presentation titled, “Enhancing Collaboration amongst Stakeholders for Improved Maritime Security in Nigeria.
The NIMASA boss, who was honoured at the event by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for facilitating civil military cohesion, urged stakeholders in the industry to close the gaps and tighten the security ring around the nation’s maritime space against piracy and other maritime crimes by sharing intelligence.
He observed that despite the rich potential in the areas of job creation and revenue generation, and its vital role in facilitating more than 90 per cent of world trade through shipping, the maritime sector was undermined by maritime insecurity.
“The economic cost of maritime insecurity is very pronounced for Nigeria compared to other countries. While the economic cost of piracy activity in Asia was estimated at $4.5 million (as of 2016), the estimated economic cost of maritime insecurity in the GoG was about $793.7 million.” Dr. Jamoh noted.
He identified insurance premiums, re-routing ships, security equipment, losses to oil and fishing industry, and cost of security escort as sources through which insecurity leads to loss of revenue in the maritime sector.
In his words: “The impacts of these challenges are far-reaching and requires that all concerned should collaborate to tackle this menace.” Drawing examples from other climes, like the Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), the NIMASA boss underscored the significance of stakeholder collaboration in tackling maritime insecurity.
He called on the Armed Forces/National Security Group; Non-Military Services (Customs, Police, Immigrations, NDLEA etc); Agencies with Incidental Functions (NAFDAC, NNPC, DPR, etc); Regulatory Agencies (NIMASA, NESREA, NOSDRA, NIWA etc); and the Disaster Management Agencies (NEMA) to work in unison.
Dr. Jamoh noted that NIMASA was already working in collaboration with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), INTERPOL, regional organisations, shipping operators, as well as private security companies, submarine cable operators, and seafarers’ organisations against trans-national maritime crime and terrorism with potentials to adopt a more participatory approach.