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Jamoh seeks support for Nigeria’s IMO Council election

Bashir Jamoh, director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has called on the international maritime community to support Nigeria’s return to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Category C seat ahead of the December election.

“We ask for your vote and count on your continued confidence to enable Nigeria work in partnership with other nations in the Gulf of Guinea to continue keeping our ocean safe for seafarers, vessels, and cargoes,” said Jamoh at the third seminar of the Atlantic Center in Lisbon, Portugal last week.

According to a statement by Osagie Edward, assistant director, public relations of NIMASA, Jamoh also requested for the global shipping community to stop designating Nigeria as a war risk zone, which causes increased in insurance premiums payable on Nigeria’s bound cargoes.

He added that the deployment of security vessels on waters adjoining the Atlantic Ocean should be in line with international laws without undermining the national sovereignty of countries within West and Central Africa.

Jamoh said that Nigeria initiated the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue Project, as a robust tool to combat piracy, armed robbery, and other maritime crimes within Nigeria’s territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea at large.

Read also: NIMASA, Customs agree on speedy delivery of Deep Blue assets at ports

He said that Nigeria also signed into law, the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act, (SPOMO) 2019, which has enabled the convictions of at least 20 pirates currently serving various jail terms.

“At the regional level, Nigeria joined other heads of states and governments to sign the Yaoundé Declaration on the 25th of June 2013 to collaborate in the fight against piracy and other crimes in their Atlantic oceans. The ‘Yaoundé declaration’ led to the establishment of the inter-regional coordination center (ICC Yaoundé),” he explained.

Jamoh said that Nigeria together with the ICC Yaoundé is engaged with the international shipping industry and commodities groups to develop a framework known as the Gulf of Guinea, Maritime Collaboration Forum on Shared Awareness and de-confliction.

“The framework is a multilateral initiative involving industry stakeholders and member countries in West and Central Africa and the Gulf of Guinea on information sharing and incident reporting, cooperation at sea, and air de-confliction,” he said.

Continuing, Jamoh stated that: “At the continental level, Nigeria is a party to the Charter on Maritime Security, Safety and Development in Africa signed in September 2016 in Lomé, Togo (Lomé Charter). One of the objectives of the charter is to prevent and suppress national and transnational crime, including terrorism, piracy, armed robbery against ships, drug trafficking, smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons, and all other kinds of trafficking through the sea and IUU fishing.”

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