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NIMASA signs MoU with Republic of Korea to enhance maritime security

Bashir Jamoh

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said on Tuesday in Lagos that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation in the field of maritime security and safety with the Republic of Korea.

Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA, signed on behalf of NIMASA while Seonggi Kang, director-general of the International Affairs and Intelligence Bureau of the Korean Coast Guard, signed on behalf of the Republic of Korea.

The MoU, which provides a framework for NIMASA and the Korean Coast Guard, will help to develop, coordinate and monitor the implementation of maritime security and safety between both countries.

During the signing, Bashir Jamoh said the MoU will be implemented to the best interest of both countries, adding that it will ultimately enhance safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.

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“The relationship between Nigeria and Korea spans over many decades, and this MoU started with a statement of intent in 2018. It is designed to reinforce the commitment of both countries to grow bilateral trade,” he said.

Jamoh, who noted that Nigeria has a leadership role in the African maritime sector, said the emergence of Nigeria’s Paul Adalikwu as the newly elected secretary-general of the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), shows the trust the West African community bestows on Nigeria.

The NIMASA boss also used the opportunity to call on the Korean Government to support Nigeria’s quest to return to the council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during the elections scheduled for the first week of December in London.

“It is worthy of note that Nigeria as a leading maritime nation in the West and Central Africa region is seeking election into council in category C at the IMO. We trust you will convey our message to your home country on the need to support Nigeria,” he solicited.

On his part, Seonggi Kang commended Nigeria for its commitment to the growth of the maritime industry.

Kang expressed optimism that the MoU will assist in addressing some issues in the Nigerian Maritime domain.

He said there are a lot of concerns in the Gulf of Guinea, especially with piracy and illegal fishing, and believed that the MoU would help to deal with some of the challenges.

“We are impressed with the Nigerian Government commitment to safety and security on Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea. We shall convey your request for support to enable Nigeria return to council at the IMO to our home country based on conviction.

The MoU is for an initial period of five years and will be automatically renewed for another five years unless either party withdraws six months before the expiration. It covers capacity building, information sharing, search and rescue liaison and establishment of hotlines for direct communication at all times.