Maritime: Jamoh Injects New Life Into NIMASA,NBA, Abuja, Branch Identifies With Agency

By Stephen Ubanna

With barely four  months of inactivity  at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, due to the absence of Bashir Jamoh, Director General of the agency,  who was said to have ventured  into the  murky waters of Nigerian waters to contest  for the governorship of Kaduna state,  economic and social activities appear to have  bounced back in the agency since his return.

According to an insider, there was hardly a week since he had returned to the agency to take up his position as the Director General, that the leadership of one Group or the other, including industry stakeholders and Foreign visitors, have not called at his office to identify with the maritime poster boy.

Jamoh: DG, NIMASA, Adjeh, Chairman, NBA, Abuja Branch And Others

The latest to pay a visit to the NIMASA, Director General, was Adjeh Monday, Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Branch and other members of the Executive. The NIMASA,  Chief Executive Officer, CEO, may have gladdened the heart of the NBA, FCT, Chapter officials when  he said  that ‘’the agency will continue   to take deliberate steps  to work with  critical institutions , particular, the Judiciary  and other Professional bodies to reposition the nation’s maritime sector’’.

Th NIMASA, boss had said that working with the Judiciary was sacrosanct to the agency, even in the complex and time sensitive issues and the attendant requirement for prompt resolution of cases. He may have taken advantage of the NBA, FCT, Chapter, officials visit to speak about   the implementation   of the Suppression of Piracy  and Other Maritime, SPOMO,    Crimes bill that was passed into Law by the National Assembly and signed into Law by President Muhammadu Buhari into Law in June 2019.

The Kaduna state technocrat had repeatedly said that the implementation of the SPOMO by the agency with the support of the Judiciary, had introduced better appreciation of Nigeria’s determination   to end the activities of Pirates and sea robbery, in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

According to him, ‘’ prompt   dispensation of Justice important for achieving success in the agency drive to elicit sustained investors’ confidence in the country’s maritime sector and the economy in general. He noted that the Judiciary remained a critical factor in the implementation of the SPOMO.

He had said that when ‘’there is a delay in a case, investment opportunities are lost’’. It was not surprising why Jamoh, the NIMASA, helmsman, had used the opportunity of Moday, the NCT, FCT, Chairman and his Team visit, ‘’to solicit for their cooperation  and support to always  push for timely dispute  resolution  for all maritime related  issues’’. We all have one role or the other play in catalyzing the Nigerian economy, he had told his August visitors.

Jamoh: DG, NIMASA, Presents Souvenir To Adjeh, NBA, Chairman, Abuja Branch

Giving an insider information of the implementation of the SPOMO Act, since June, 209, by the Maritime Regulatory agency  with the support of the Judiciary, an elated   Jamoh, said the Law has come’’ to stay, describing as a victory for Nigeria as a whole  in its determination  to assume its rightful position  in the comity of nations’’.

He noted that some conventions of the International Maritime Organiation, IMO, have been secured  by the agency between June 2019 and now, with the approval of the Katsina state born Nigerian President , which industry stakeholders had said  was a signal  that the country  in the right path  in the war against  piracy  and other maritime related crimes ,  in the nation’s maritime domain.

An appreciative Jamoh, had said that with the support of the Bench,  the agency will not relent  in its ffoorts ‘’to ensure  a safe and  secure  maritime domain for the nation ,in line with its mandate’’.  He was  said to have reassured the NBA, Abuja Chapter, officials  that the agency will continue  ‘’to work closely  with  organs of government , the international community  and other industry stakeholders  ‘’to achieve  improved  security in Nigerian waterways and the Gulf of Guinea.

There is no gain saying the fact  that with  signed SPOMO Act,  the agency was said to have so far, secured secured the convictions of 23 Pirates and sea robbers. A breakdown, shows that  10, of the convicted suspected Pirates  will spend 10 years each, while another convicted persons, would spend seven years each in prsion, Nigerian Correctional facility in PortHarcourt, capital of Rivers state and Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre.

 The NIMSA, Chief  may have told the NBA, Abuja, Chapter officials, that the SPOMO Act, was not meant for prosecution of Nigerians caught in the Piracy  and sea robbery but applies to foreigners as well. He had said that   three Foreigners who were dragged to Court by the agency on account of crime activities in Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea, may not have been jailed but were fined. The three Foreigners were said to have been fined $52,000 for hijacking a ship and securing a ransom of $200,000 for the eleaase of the Crew.

 Emmanuel Effector, a Commodore and  Rector, Maritime Academy of Nigeria, MAN, had said that  in 2017, alone,  Piracy and sea robbery activities in Nigerian waters  cost the country over N329 billion ,compared to N1.8 billion in the Asian Continent.

He pointed out that as Nigerian had continued to record low level of pirate activities in the nation’s waters and the Gulf of Guine, over the last two years with the deployment of the $195 million, equipmentsupplied by the Israeli security firm, HLSI Systems and Technologies Limited, a company contracted by the Nigerian government in 2017. The Israeli firm, between 2020 and now, had supplied 17 Interception Boats, for coastal patrol, 16 armoured vehicles, three helicopters, Two Special Mission aircrafts for Surveillance of Nigerian Economic Zone, Two Special Mission Vessels and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. NIMASA, in the spirit of inter-agency relationship,   was said to have coopted the Nigeria Air Force, NAF, under the close watch of Air Marshall Oladayo Amao and Air Vice Admiral, Awwal Zaubairu Gambo, led Nigeria Navy, to manage and operate the maritime security equipment.

The International Maritime Bureau, IMB, had reported that there have been significant drop in Piracy activities in Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea.  It had reported that  that of the 58  incidents recorded  world-wide, in the first six months of 2022,  only 31 cases occurred in Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea, meaning that the de for ransom from shipping companies have  also dropped significantly and may soon be wiped out from Nigerian maritime dictionary.

Jamoh ha told those that cares to listen  that ‘notwithstanding  the stride that had been achieved by the agency over the last two years in the area of safety and security  of Nigerian maritime domain  and the Gulf of Guinea, the agency  equall recgnises  the need for Professional  development  and realignment  as well as increased  partnership  and collaboration  amongst industry stakeholders, including the Judiciary. He was said to have told the visiting NBA, officials, Abuja, Chapter,  that ‘’training  and development   were important components of the agency’s  Administrative growth’’, stressing that ‘’it  has a system  where  where officers,  including those of the Legal unit  of the agency  are trained  in various fields  and

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