The European Union (EU) has applauded the Nigerian Government for providing leadership in the Gulf of Guinea in the war against criminality in the maritime sector which has yielded desired results.
The commendation was delivered through its Senior Coordinator for the Gulf of Guinea, Amb. Nicolas Martinez, at the end of a working visit to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
The EU delegation inspected assets under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue project.
“We support Nigeria’s leadership in the regional quest to end piracy and other maritime crimes. You can count on the EU as we are fully supportive of the Yaounde Infrastructure. We urge Nigeria to share experience with other countries in the region. It is obvious from the results so far that Nigeria, providing leadership for other countries, is winning the war against piracy,” he said.
Speaking at the reception for the EU delegation, the Director General NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh noted that the recent removal of Nigeria from the Piracy list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB, was as a result of collective efforts of various stakeholders within and outside of the country.
“It is not yet time to celebrate. Now the focus for us at NIMASA is sustainability. The improved intelligence gathering and sharing amongst all stakeholders played a major role in the results we are witnessing now. Our Deep Blue Project, the SPOMO Act enacted by the National Assembly, the Convictions of criminals under the SPOMO Act, the commitment of the Nigerian Navy and other military arms of the Nigerian Armed Forces, not forgetting the support from the international community, all led to the reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
Speaking further, Dr Jamoh said NIMASA is already looking ahead in her quest to attain sustainability.” We are working on an International Maritime Sustainability Conference which we will be hosting in Abuja later this year; also a comprehensive National Maritime policy for Nigeria is in the pipeline.
The Deep Blue Project, also known as the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Defence and is being implemented by NIMASA. Its main objective is to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea.