Determined to sustain the fight against piracy, sea robbery, and other illegalities on Nigerian waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has pointed out the need for the judiciary to give legal backing to the agency’s effort in fighting illegalities on Nigerian waters.
Speaking at the 3rd Nigerian Admiralty Law Colloquium themed: ‘Beyond Maritime Security Threats in the Gulf of Guinea: Harnessing the Gains of a Secured Maritime Domain,’ Bashir Jamoh, director-general /CEO of the NIMASA, said a secured maritime domain is vital to the development and advancement of the world economy.
Represented by Chudi Offodile, executive director, Finance and Administration of NIMASA, he said, the colloquium provides an opportunity to discuss the strategies, policies, and practices necessary to tap the full potential of the Nigerian maritime and sustain the climate of security necessary for the development.
According to Jamoh, a well-developed blue economy would be strong enough to service Nigeria’s annual budget because it encompasses all economic activities associated with the oceans and seas.
“Since the concept of the blue economy began to gain traction, maritime nations have been harnessing the full benefits by protecting their oceans and seas, which is why NIMASA is working to secure our waters and the Gulf of Guinea,” he added.
Olukayode Ariwoola, Chief Justice of Nigeria/chairman of the Board of Governors at the National Judicial Institute (NJI) said that the maritime domain provides direct economic opportunities to a number of African countries including Nigeria.
Represented by Musa Dattijo Muhammad, justice of the Supreme Court, said the colloquium is tailored towards efficient maritime adjudication of cases and curbing the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
“It is crucial that we continue the conversation on ways to counter threats and insecurity in this sector by upholding the effective administration of our criminal justice system,” he said.
On his part, John Tsoho, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, who was represented by Olayinka Faji, Justice of the Federal High Court, commended the management of NIMASA for enhancing the development of maritime law as the promulgation of the SPOMO Act in 2019 has impacted positively on safety along the Nigerian maritime domain.
“The Federal High Court would always support relevant legislations that would harness the gains in the maritime industry, and we must continue to fine-tune our laws. Work has been concluded on the new Admiralty Jurisdiction Procedure Rules. It has been sent for gazetting and will be ready in days,” Tsoho added.