Importers Heave A Sigh Of Relief Over Nigeria Exit From War Risk Countries

By tephen Ubanna

 Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, over the last two years, with the support of President Muhammadu Buhari, has been battling the Lloyds Insurance of London  and other  multinational Insurance Companies  including the International shipping Companies  to to remove Nigeria   from the list of war risk  countries  and stop collecting  War Insurance  Premium  on Nigeria-bound ships .

The Director General was said to have repeatedly told the Leadership of the Foreign Insurance Companies at every forum, that there was no basis for Nigeria shippers to be paying war  Insurance Premium because the country has overcome  the criminal activities  of the pirates, sea robbers and  othercriminal activities  with the efforts of the   Nigerian Navy, under the close watch of Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo.

The NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when  he disclosed  that the country will be removed from the war risk  countries and subsequently stop paying  the war insurance  premium  which covers  damage  due to acts of war, including invasion, insurrection , rebellion and hijacking  in 2023 , because of the drastic reduction in pirates attacks in Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.


He may have been encouraged to fight for the removal Of the war risk insurance  on Nigeria-bound  cargoes  by international shipping companies coming  to the country    because of a report by Ocean Beyond  Piracy, BOP,   that  Nigerian-bound ships  transiting the Gulf of Guinea  had incured additional total Insurance premium  cost of $55 million  2020 while 35 percent of ships  transiting  the area  also carried  additional  kidnap  and ransom  insurance cost ,  totaling $100 million, thus bringing the  cumulative premium insurance payment on Nigerian bound-ships  to  $1055 million.

The NIMASA helmsman may not have been alone in fighting for foreign Insurance Companies and the International shipping Companies for the removal of Nigeria from the war risk zone.The International Maritime Organisation, IMO, were said to have also joined forces with the agency to call for the removal of Nigeria from the list of the war risk countries, hinging it to the  reduction or near total eradication  of pirates attacks  on ships in Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

The Maritime regulatory agency could achieve all that feat with the deployment of the HLSI Services and Technologies Limited, an Israeli firm, contracted by the Buhari Administration, at a cost of $195 million to supplysome land, sea and air equipment.

 The Israeli security firm between 2020 and the tail end of 2022, had delivered to the agency 16 armoured vehicles, for coastal patrol, 17 Fast Interceptor Boats, and two Special Mission Boats, that are currently being operated and maintained by the Nigeria Navy.

 The Israeli security firm, was said to have also delivered to NIMASA, two Special Mission aircrafts, for surveillance   of Nigerian Exclusive Economic zone, EEZ, three helicopters and four Aerial vehicles, that are  operated and maintained by the Nigeria Air Force.

 Indeed, the synergy between NIMASA and the other security agencies appear to have sent a message to the pirates and sea robbers which had persistently attacked ocean –going vessels transiting the Gulf of Guinea into Nigeria , that the game is up for them to park and go to another Location as Nigeria waters are  no longer safe for them to operate.

AVM Gambo, the Chief of Naval Staff, was the first person to give a hint that Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries paying war risk insurance premium by the International shipping companies on Thursday, February 23, 2023, in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.  

 His revelation was quickly followed by the confirmation by Jamoh, the NIMASA Director General.  He had said that  the achievement  was a ‘’product  of well-structured  multi-modal  policy  which  has been implemented  over the years  to fight piracy  and other criminalities in Nigeria waters’’.

 He noted that  the legal instrument called the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences, SPMO   passed by the National Assembly, and signed into Law by the Katsina state born Nigerian  President into Law in 2019, the full implementation  of the Deep Blue Project , expanded assets and capacity of AVM , Gambo led Nigerian Navy,  enhanced Cooperation between NIMASA and the  Navy,  and the regional Collaborative efforts  under  the umbrella of SHADE, Gulf of Guinea, midwifed by NIMASA, were all instrumental to the drastic reduction of piracy activities in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea .  An elated Jamoh, had said that the agency are focused  on ‘’ultimately  improving  and reducing the cost  of commercial  shipping  in Nigeria’’.  

The International Bargaining Frum, IBF, a body that brings together members of the International Transport Federation,  ITF, and the International Maritime Employers, to a Joint  Negotiation Group, was said to have facilitated the removal of Nigeria from war risk countries for the importers to enjoy a new lease of life..

The Group was said to have listed five designated areas and applicable benefits in the event of attacks leading to deaths and disability, mentioning he Gulf of Guinea as the second  extended war risk zone  covering Liberia/ Coted’Ivoire  border to Angola/ Zambia.

 Maritime analysts believe that the collaborative efforts of NIMASA, and the Nigerian Navy, which had enhanced the security architecture  in the country’s  sea planes   may have encouraged the foreign shipping companies  to remove Nigeria  from the list  of countries  that are paying  war risk insurance premium  on ships  which destination  is Nigeria by Lloyds of London , United Kingdom.

Given that there was no  incident of piracy attacks in Nigerian waters  and the Gulf of Guinea between January , 2023 and now,  may have informed why the IBF, has called for double  compensation by the foreign Insurance Companies and the International shipping  firms  for seafarers  who die or suffer disability   on the date  of the last attack  on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea in 2023, that was forestalled.        

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *