• Thursday, February 29, 2024
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W/African countries to strengthen fight against piracy, sea robbery

IMB report reveals rise in maritime piracy incidents in 2023

Countries in West Africa are set to brainstorm on how to consolidate the fight against piracy and sea robbery within the sub-region to ensure the safety of ships, crew members, and cargo onboard vessels.

This is as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy are partnering Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé, to host the fifth plenary of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum for the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE).

The plenary, which is scheduled to take place in Abuja from May 10 to 11, 2022 is themed, ‘Enduring and Sustainable Security,’ and is expected to have in attendance all regional navies among other international stakeholders.

Bashir Jamoh, the director-general of the NIMASA, said in a statement in Lagos on Tuesday that regional cooperation plays an important role in reducing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region.

“The establishment of GOG-MCF/SHADE has enabled working-level stakeholders from the GoG region and outside the region to connect and discuss how best to tackle piracy in the region. We believe that this has been a catalyst for non-regional stakeholders to initiate effective maritime law enforcement operations to support regional efforts,” he said.

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According to him, these collaborative initiatives, as well as efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional navies, including the deployment of the Deep Blue Project, have been responsible for the reduction in piracy incidents in the region.

This, he said, was why the International Maritime Bureau recently removed Nigeria from the global piracy list, and the goal was to sustain the piracy-free Gulf of Guinea.

The Gulf of Guinea collaboration Forum SHADE was established by Nigeria and 22 countries of the ICC in July 2021. The goal was to implement effective operational counter-piracy cooperation among regional and international Navies as well as the shipping industry and reporting Centres of the Yaounde Code of Conduct (ICC) for the Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in the Central and West Africa region.

The first edition of the plenary was held virtually in July 2021, due to travel restrictions, and was hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana.