The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA); Dr Bashir Jamoh has urged nations of the Gulf of Guinea as well as partners in the fight against piracy in the area not to drop their guards.
Jamoh, in a statement issued last weekend via his verified Tweeter Account referenced the recent statement by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO); Kitack Lim on the rising attack on ships in the Gulf of Guinea.
In the statement, Lim had said that he was “deeply concerned over the recent kidnapping of six crew members from the MV Monjasa Reformer on 25 March 2023 and reports of an ongoing incident involving a tanker in the Gulf of Guinea”.
He added that the “IMO urges continued sustainable support to the important work of the regional navies and entities within the Yaoundé Architecture to protect seafarers and to the operational piracy response from the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum (SHADE) and the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, in keeping with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2634 on piracy in the Gulf of Guinea”.
“I would like to appreciate the regional and international efforts to respond to this disturbing incident. I wish to reiterate that the ongoing threat must be addressed cohesively, involving all relevant actors and including regional entities”, the IMO scribe had concluded in the statement.
While responding to the IMO statement, the NIMSA DG said the agency “welcomes the timely and important statement by the Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation on 12 April 2023 regarding recent pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea and the importance of sustaining the established maritime security frameworks, such as the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ SHADE- GOG, to deliver operational response”.
Jamoh said he also shared the IMO scribe’s concern about the attacks and their effect on seafarers and the blue economy.
“As Director General of NIMASA and executive co-chair of the Gulf of Guinea SHADE forum, I share the Secretary Generals’ concerns and the devastating effect these attacks have on seafarers and the blue economy.
‘The reduction of pirate attacks over the last 18 months has been most welcome and achieved, in no small part, by the collaboration of national, regional, and international navies, the Yaounde Architecture, and the Shipping Industry in their collective responses to incidents through the SHADE forum”.
Harping on the need to sustain the gains recorded by all concerned, the NIMASA DG appealed that: “Now is not the time to drop our guard. This is why the 7th Plenary of the SHADE scheduled for Abuja in May will provide the Forum with a significant and timely opportunity to remobilize regional navies and industries to sustain the focus on maritime security”.
He assured that, “the operational presence and actions of Deep Blue and the Nigerian Navy will continue to support all efforts to maintain a safe and secure maritime environment. I can reassure and reaffirm NIMASA will maintain our commitment to upholding maritime security for all shipping in the Gulf of Guinea”.