International Maritime Organisation (IMO), a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping, has extolled Nigeria’s leadership role in the quest for security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The international apex maritime body noted that the agency’s contribution to the war against piracy and maritime crimes in the region, including facilitation of the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act, 2019, and initiation of the Deep Blue Project, was a proof of the country’s abiding determination to lead the charge against maritime crimes in the region. In a letter addressed to Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and signed on behalf of the IMO Secretary General, Kitack Lim, by the Director, Maritime Safety Division, Heike Deggim, IMO praised NIMASA for its contribution to the fight against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea. According a statement by the agency’s Head, Corporate Communications, Philip Kyanet, Lim said: “I commend your leadership and proactive response.
I would also like to reiterate my congratulations to the Nigerian Navy on the successful capture and arrest of pirates from the fishing trawler Hailufeng 11, and more recently on the rescue of the crewmembers of the containership Tommi Ritscher.
“Those actions, together with all the other initiatives you highlighted in our meeting, including progress with the Deep Blue Project, send a strong and valuable message to the international community with respect to the considerable efforts your government is making to curb piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Gulf of Guinea.”
The director general had earlier, in a virtual address to a meeting of the G7++Group of Friends of the Gulf of Guinea (G7++FOGG), expressed Nigeria’s resolve to lead efforts to achieve security in the region. He said Nigeria’s strategy against insecurity in the region would be based on home-grown solutions, stressing the need for international cooperation and technical assistance on maritime security strategy and policy development in line with IMO instruments.