Jamoh Speaaks On Piracy Decline In Nigerian Waters And The GoG

 By Stephen Ubanna

 Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has given an insight why piracy is on the decline on Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, GoG. The NIMASA, Director General, has attributed it ‘’to the collaboration among various agencies of Government in Nigeria, state governments and Industry stakeholders, both within and outside the country. He may have alluded to the Nigerian Navy, under the close watch of Awwal Zubairu Gambo, a Vice Admiral and Air Marshall Olaayo Amao, led Nigerian AirForce, including the Nigerian Army.


 Jamoh, the NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO, may have opened up when he received the Management of the Nigerian Television Authority, NTA Channel 10, in Lagos. He noted that ‘’the success in fighting piracy in Nigeria is a combination of many factors, which has seen the entire gamut of security architecture working together to achieve a common goal’’.  

 He may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he disclosed that ‘’the country has exited the piracy list’’, stressing that ‘’the progress is steady’’.   According to him ’’no single organization can lay total claim for the success in the anti-piracy war in Nigeria.

Given an insider information, he revealed  that ‘’the Presidency had played a major role by providing direction,  the military played their role as enshrined in the constitution, while NIMASA is playing its role by being an effective Maritime Administration with the Deep Blue Project as a focal tool. He noted that the National Assembly which passed gave the SPOMO Bill that was assented by President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, in June 2020, including the Judiciary have ensured that maritime crimes are punished in Nigeria.’ ’They should also get credit”, he had said.

The NIMASA boss also acknowledged the support from the international maritime stakeholders as key to the success in the fight against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea”, describing the international conglomerates, including the major oil marketers, International Tanker owners, INTERTANKO, and the International Cargo Owners, INTERCARGO amongst others as part of the joint industry-working group, which has now metamorphosed into the SHADE Gulf of Guinea.

The NIMASA helmsman, may have also taken advantage of the NTA Management visit to shade more light on the Global Maritime Distress Safety System, GMDSS, located at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, RMRCC in Kirikiri and Takwa Bay, in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve Centre, noting that the facilities are now fully functional.

 Hear him: ”We have greatly enhanced the safety of navigation of vessels on Nigerian waters, stressing that ‘’every vessel within the Nigerian territorial waters and even beyond can easily access the country’s GMDSS.

While the GMDSS facilities at Kirikiri and Taka Bay, in Lagos, are functional, the other three stations located in Oron, Bonny and Escravos are said to be almost ready to commence full operations. The NIMASA CEO, averred that ‘’these are some gaps identified in the agency by the International Maritime Organization, IMO, during its last IMO Member State Audit Scheme, IMSAS,  ‘’We are closing the gaps”, he had said.

 Also commenting on the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Related Offences SPOMO Act, which now serves as a model for other countries in the West and Central African Sub-region, the NIMASA, Director General, noted that  ‘’there is need for harmonization of laws to ensure uniformity of purpose in prosecuting maritime offences within the two African regions.  

“There are indications that other countries in the West African sub-region are now in the process of enacting laws similar to our SPOMO Act. This is the time for the Economic Community  of West African States, ECOWAS, as an economic bloc,  ‘’to ensure harmonized Maritime Laws in the Gulf of Guinea to ensure that criminalities in the maritime sector are prosecuted easily within the region, and no longer to be regarded  in the comity of nations as a ‘’safe haven for criminals’’.

He had said that NIMASA has decided to engage ‘’the Naval Dockyard ”to repair the Agency’s patrol boats as part of efforts to deepen inter-Agency collaboration with the Nigerian Navy’’. Industry stakeholders describe it as a welcome development becuase of the millions of dollar it would save the agency annually for reparing the Patrol vessels locally.

Olusegun Osinowo, an Engineer and General Manager, NTA Channel 10, who led  the delegation had’’ commended the efforts of the Jamoh-led administration in its quest to realise a robust maritime sector for the country’’, while also pledging the continuous support of the media in educating the public on the activities of the Agency. “With what had been achieved in the last two years in the agency under the the Jamoh led Management may have informed why Eng. Osinowo, the NTA General Manager, Channel 10, had said that  ‘’it is evident that the Katsina state born Nigerian President  did not ”make a mistake in appointing, the Kaduna state born Bureaucrat as the Director General of NIMASA”.


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