Nigeria’s apex maritime regulatory authority, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has kicked off a search rescue operation for the abducted 12 crew members onboard MV GLARUS owned by ALLISON Shipping which was hijacked off Bonny Island in Rivers State at the weekend.
The agency which is carrying out the rescue mission in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies said the move is aimed ensuring that the crew of the ill-fated vessel are found and released unconditionally.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside who disclosed this in Lagos stated that the agency which remains the designated authority (DA) in the country was working closely with the Forward Operation Base (FOB) and the Falcon Eye of the Nigerian Navy along with other relevant security agencies.
While condemning the act, he noted that the agency was saddened about the attack and assured that his management would not leave any stone unturned in the rescue mission.
He also assured that the perpetrators of this act and others of its kind would be brought to book.
His words: “The issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea is a challenge we acknowledge and we are determined to tackle it head-on. We will continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Navy and other relevant partners to ensure we bring it to a halt. Zero tolerance to piracy and all forms of illegalities on our nation’s waterways is our goal”.
Maritime Bits had reported that NIMASA recently adopted what it called “total spectrum maritime security strategy” which is a multidimensional approach that includes investment on intelligence and partnership with relevant security agencies to curb maritime related crimes in Nigeria waterways.
It also include building of Nigeria’s response capabilities with the use of fast intervention vessels and the review of Nigerian laws, especially the anti-piracy bill which will give the agency the legal backing to prosecute issues relating to piracy.