The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Her Excellency, Huitfeldt Anniken has commended the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA) efforts in combating piracy and insecurity in the country, stating that when it comes to maritime security Nigeria is the place to look.
The Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs stated this when she paid a courtesy visit to NIMASA’s resource center in Lagos on Monday.
Anniken commended the Director General MIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh’s efforts in reducing piracy in the region, this is even as she ranked Nigeria as the top leading maritime country in Africa following the country success story in the fight against piracy and other maritime crimes.
Following her visit to the agency’s C4i center, she expressed satisfaction and further stated that Nigeria will be a very good partner for Norway adding that she was at the agency to learn.
“I am deeply impressed by what I am seeing here today, because safety and the well-being of seafarers in the country including in the Gulf of Guinea is highly important to us, so Nigeria is the rightful partner for Norway and I am here to learn” she said.
Speaking also the DG NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated that NIMASA being the apex maritime regulatory body of the maritime industry was given four cardinal Acts to implement which include the NIMASA Acts of 2007, the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007, the Cabotage Acts of 2003 and the SPOMO Act of 2019.
He told the Norwegian minister of foreign affairs that the mission of the agency is to ensure and achieve safe, secure shipping, cleaner oceans and enhanced maritime capacity in line with the best global practices towards Nigeria’s economic development.
He informed that from 82 cases of piracy recorded in Nigerian waters in 2018 to 61 in 2019 down to 34 in 2021, and to nil in 2022 and nil in the first quarter of 2023.
He further said owing to the critical nature of shipping to global trade, the agency keyed into the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention to ensure the safety of seafarers and others through proper enforcement of maritime safety conventions.
Speaking on ship development, the DG assured that in couple of weeks the Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds (CVFF) will be disbursed to ship owners to help in fleet expansion adding that NIMASA is poised to advance shipping by ensuring a conducive environment for commercial shipping and encouraging more indigenous participation in the global shipping trade.
Speaking also, the Executive Director Norwegian Shipowners Association, Audun Halvorsen said the Norwegian Shipowners see NIMASA as a key partner in Africa and that they are looking forward to how the government and the Nigerian shipowners can partner with them on how to take the maritime sector to a greater height.
He informed that the Norwegian Shipowners Association has over 1700 members.
Huitfeldt was accompanied by Norway’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Kuit Eiliv Lein and other top government officials from Norway.