Contrary to the news making the rounds that Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries paying War Risk Insurance premium, investigations by Shipping Position Daily have revealed otherwise.
The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had last weekend issued a statement in which it announced that Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries designated as risk maritime nations by the International Bargaining Forum (IBF).
In the statement, the agency said the development was “a confirmation of the improved global ratings of security in Nigerian maritime domain as a result of sustained collaborative efforts of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Navy”.
However, investigations revealed that, the IBF is a not the same as the Lloyds of London Insurers which imposed the war risk premium payment in collaboration with global shipping interests.
By its designation, the International Bargaining Forum is a conglomeration of employers and employees which form the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG).
It is this body that has exited Nigeria from the list which covers workers’ compensation and protection when ships are attacked.
The JNG listed five designated risk areas and applicable benefits in the event of attacks leading to deaths and disability on the part of seafarers.
By its own admission in the last Friday statement, NIMASA had noted that, “the 2023 IBF list called for double compensation for seafarers who die or suffer disability on the date of attack on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea.
Apart from NIMASA, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Gambo had also claimed that Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries paying War Insurance Premium on ships whose destination is Nigeria by Lloyds of London, United Kingdom.
However, investigations confirmed that, contrary to the naval chief’s claim, Nigeria is still on the list of countries paying the War Risk Premium.
A visit to the Lloyds website did not reveal that there is any change on the list. In Africa, Nigeria is still number One on the list. Other countries on the list in Africa are: Somalia, Libya, and Benin Republic.
Specifically, in the Gulf of Guinea specifically, information obtained added that the War Risk Premium is still applicable “only in respect of the area enclosed by:
1. On the northern side the coast of Benin, Togo and Nigeria.
2. On the western side a straight line from the border on the coast, of Togo and Ghana to position Latitude 3° North, Longitude 1° 10’ East.
3. On the southern side a straight line from there to position Latitude 3° North, Longitude 8° East.
4. On the eastern side a straight line from there to Latitude 4° North, Longitude 8° 31’ East and then from there to the border, on the coast, of Nigeria and Cameroon.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh, had while reacting to the IBF report described it as a landmark achievement under the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“This achievement is a product of a well-structured multimodal policy which has been implemented over the years to fight piracy and other criminalities in Nigerian Waters. The Legal instrument called SPOMO Act signed into Law by President Buhari in 2019, the full implementation of the Deep Blue Project by NIMASA, expanded assets and capacity of the Nigerian Navy, enhanced cooperation between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, and the regional collaborative efforts under the umbrella of SHADE Gulf of Guinea midwifed by NIMASA, are all policies of the current administration and the benefits are gradually coming to fruition. We are focused on ultimately improving and reducing the cost of commercial shipping in Nigeria”, he said.
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