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NIMASA partners Amnesty Office to curb maritime crimes on Nigerian waters

…As agency plans empowerment programmes for coastal communities

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has declared its intention to work in partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme ( PAP) in the fight against piracy and other crimes in the nation’s maritime domain.

Bashir Jamoh, director general of NIMASA, disclosed this in Abuja during a working visit to Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd.), interim sole administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

Jamoh stressed the importance of collaboration among relevant agencies and communities in the quest for maritime security, pointing out the need for agencies of government to work together in partnership to help NIMASA appreciate and evaluate the challenges from various perspectives, and collectively come up with solutions that would work for all, and the country at large.

“Security problems more often than not have a local content. So, as the nation’s maritime regulatory agency, we want to partner the Amnesty Programme, which interfaces with the littoral communities, to nip the security challenges in the bud, and stand our nation in good stead for the optimisation of our huge maritime resources,” Jamoh said in a statement signed by Philip Kyanet, head, Corporate Communications of NIMASA.

Jamoh, who has prioritised advocacy for interagency cooperation in the fight against maritime insecurity since his appointment last year, stated that the agency cannot proffer solution to the issues and crisis in the Niger Delta without the collaboration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

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The NIMASA boss however said a Maritime Intelligence Unit was recently established by the agency to help in the identification of early warning signs in order to prevent security breaches in the littoral areas.

He disclosed that many of the assets being installed and deployed under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure ( the Deep Blue Project) had intelligence gathering capabilities through air, land and sea surveillance.

Jamoh further stated that NIMASA was planning to introduce educational, entrepreneurship training, and skills acquisition programmes in the areas of fishing, clearing and forwarding, and legal bunkering, for people in the coastal communities as a way of empowering them and discouraging criminal tendencies.

Responding, Dikio commended Jamoh for his vision and commitment to maritime security. He also praised the NIMASA boss for his passion for interagency coordination and collaboration in the security of Nigeria’s maritime environment.

He said detecting the early warning signs and engaging early responses to prevent security challenges at their early stages would be vigorously pursued.

The Amnesty boss expressed the willingness of his agency to partner with NIMASA, especially in the empowerment of the locals. He suggested that the people’s knowledge of the local communities should be leveraged in the area of information gathering.

Dikio advised that the training programme being planned by NIMASA should target subjects relevant to the Niger Delta in order to impact them directly and get to the root of the problem.

He also suggested for the appointment of nodal officers from Presidential Amnesty Programme and NIMASA to interface and harmonise action points to fast-track the actualisation of the partnership for the overall good of the maritime sector.

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