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NIMASA: Chief Naval calls on stakeholders to collaborate, fight piracy, armed robbery in GoG

By Naomi Douglas

Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, and the Nigerian chief of Naval staff NNS, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, has called on stakeholders in the Maritime industry to consider greater collaboration and commitments in the fight against piracy and armed robbery within the Gulf of Guinea, GoG region.

Gambo made the call yesterday in Abuja, at the 5th Planery Session of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime collaboration Forum, MCF, Shared Awareness and Deconfliction, SHADE initiative.

He said the safety and security of shipping in the Gulf of Guinea is a vital enabler in the recovery process of global economy and trade suffered due to Covid-19 pandemic, adding that it is imperative for stakeholders in the industry to succeed in this regard.

Speaking at the 5th Plenary with the theme “Enduring and Sustainable Security”, the Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, noted that more remains to be done in terms of the legal framework to enable the SHADE’s existence and the legal finish needed by more countries for better and seamless transfer agreements and harmonization of laws and the sharing of information.

Jamoh, emphasized that the SHADE must be nurtured to remain a force for good, adding that as members, they owe a collective duty to this forum to keep its dialogue robust and guard it from slipping into complacency as to become a toothless bulldog.

“I am optimistic that the respective discussions and suggestions on tackling emerging maritime security challenges, integrating Maritime Domain Awareness capabilities and legal imperatives of transfer agreements would provide platforms for sharing our thoughts and experiences towards improved maritime governance in the region.

“There is still room for graeter collaboration in the areas of information sharing, increased presence of naval assets and strenghten legal frameworks among the GoG nations as well as international partners, which are all key to ensuring success of the Yaounde Architecture” he said.

Vice Admiral Awwal however, appreciated all coastal nations within the region as well as international partners and relevant stakeholders that have made positive strides in the area of multinational and interagency cooperation and response to piracy incidents in the GoG.

Speaking on the part of the Nigerian Navy, the Naval boss asserted that the successes recorded were largely due to its ongoing efforts towards building institutional capacity in reinforcing capabilities for maritime governance.

“This has been supported by the government of Nigeria, through the Office of the National Security Adviser, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Transportation and Defence Headquarters among others.

“On Maritime Domain Awareness capability, the Nigerian Navy is utilising its Falcon Eye Maritime Intelligence Facility, Regional Maritime Awareness Capabilityas well as recent acquisition of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, UAVs to enhance and extend the reach of the NN surveillance architecture.

“Also, the Nigeria’s Deep Blue Project is an integrated National Surveillance and waterways protection infrastructure, though still evolving. The Nigerian Navy forms an integral part and currently manning some assets to support the project towards ensuring the nation’s waterways are safe” Chief of Naval Staff stated.

It would be recalled that the first 4 plenary sessions were hosted virtually in which useful information were presented and far-reaching decisions with procedures and systems were emplaced.

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