The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has inaugurated the Expert Level Planning Team (ELPT) to draft the National Maritime Security Strategy (NMSS) to sustain the Agency’s successes in the fight against piracy.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made this known in a statement on Tuesday in Lagos.
Jamoh also commended the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for its technical support to Nigeria by assigning facilitators to assist the country.
According to him, maritime security will always be of priority concern to the Agency.
He noted that it was the bedrock and guarantee of every meaningful shipping enterprise.
Jamoh said the strategy would become the culmination of all the various efforts, initiatives, partnerships the Agency started out under its “Triple S” of Maritime Security, Safety and Shipping Development.
“There can be no doubt, to the fact, that maritime security is the bedrock and guarantee of every meaningful shipping enterprise.
“From the crew, to cargo, to carrier, to the coast and quayside, there must be security all the way for confidence to drive shipping economics.
“Maritime security has always been and will continue to remain a priority. You are all aware of the current successes achieved in ensuring maritime security within the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), as a whole.
“Specifically, the GoG region is experiencing an unprecedented decline in piracy incidents over the past three decades,” he said.
He noted that the International Maritime Bureau recently confirmed that piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had declined for real.
“This is a fact that we can all be proud of. Also, this is the product of concerted efforts of the Agency in collaboration with other relevant government bodies.
“The government bodies are the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Army, the Department of State Security (DSS), and several other state and non-state actors and stakeholders having security responsibilities,” he said.
Jamoh said that NIMASA was mindful of the dynamic nature of maritime security threats; hence the need to take deliberate steps to ensure sustainability of its achievements
This, he said, would be through the establishment of a coordinated, whole-of-government approach in dealing with issues of maritime security.
“I am, therefore, hopeful that by the end of this programme, not only will you be trained as Maritime Security Professionals (MSPs), you will also be equipped with the requisite skills to offer similar training on behalf of the Agency to individuals who intend to carry out specific maritime security functions.
“The ELPT is to develop a blueprint of the National Maritime Security Strategy (NMSS). This will serve as the basis for your determination of the members of the cross government Working Group (WG) that will execute subsequent steps of this drafting process,” he said.
Jamoh thanked the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for the technical assistance through Mr Philip Heyl and Retired Rear Admiral O.C Medani of the Nigerian Navy facilitating the sessions.