NIMASA Takes Anti-Piracy Bill To NASS Soon

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman (R), as moderator of the first session, with other discussants during the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) International Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, last week

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, says the agency will present the Anti-Piracy Bill to the National Assembly soon to fight piracy in the nation’s waterways.Peterside disclosed this at the celebration of African Day of the Seas and Oceans in Nigeria.He said that the agency would be sending the Anti-Piracy Bill to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill.“We have received assurances of accelerated passage of the bill and before the end of this year the bill will become a law and we will have legal backing to fight piracy and criminality on our water ways.“There have been a lot of concerns about piracy within the Gulf of Guinea and Gulf of Aden.“The recent statistics published by the International Maritime Bureau based in Malaysia showed that there was a drop in incidents of piracy within our waterways.“This is possible because of the few things we are doing with the Nigerian Navy, enhancing our intelligence gathering mechanism and inter-agency as well as inter-departmental collaboration,’’ Peterside said.Also speaking at the event, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, said NIMASA being the government regulatory agency, should promote maritime safety and develop indigenous commercial shipping.Ibas said that NIMASA’s functions highlighted the need for synergy among maritime regulators and law enforcement agencies operating in Nigerian maritime domain.The CNS, who was represented commended NIMASA for positively projecting Nigeria’s image within the international maritime community.He said that a team would be going round to sensitise stakeholders on Harmonised Standard Operating Procedures on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution of Vessels and Persons (HOSP-AD&P).Ibas said that this would go a long way in ensuring seamless operationalisation of the document through the adoption of common procedures and practice in facilitating good maritime governance.“`With the collaboration of the Ministry of Justice, Defence Headquarters and NIMASA, the HOSP-AD`&P was launched on Jan. 26, 2017.“The Celebration of African Day of the Seas and Oceans will enhance the attainment of Code of Conduct for repression of piracy and illicit activities at the sea adopted by the Heads of Government of ECOWAS.“Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) is created and developed as a tool to address Africa’s maritime challenges for sustainable development and competitiveness.“AIMS also seeks to foster more wealth creation from Africa’s oceans, seas and inland waterways by developing a thriving maritime economy and realising the full potential of sea-based activities, ‘’ Ibas said.