We need critical institutions and professional bodies to reposition Nigeria’s maritime industry, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh has said.
To this end, he reiterated that the agency will continue to take what he called “deliberate steps” to ensure that this is achieved.
The NIMASA helmsman who stated this during a courtesy call by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Federal Capital Territory Abuja Branch to the agency, noted that working with the association and the judiciary was sacrosanct given the complex and time sensitive nature of maritime issues and the attendant requirement for prompt resolutions.
His words: “Prompt dispensation of justice is important for achieving success in our drive to elicit a sustained investors’ confidence, and the judiciary is a critical factor in this drive. When there is a delay in a case, investment opportunities are lost. Let me therefore use this opportunity to solicit the cooperation of the Nigerian Bar Association to always push for timely dispute resolution for maritime related issues, as we all have one role or another to play in catalyzing the Nigerian economy”.
He observed that the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Crimes (SPOMO) Act 2019 has come to stay and it is victory for Nigeria as a whole in the nation’s determination to assume her rightful position in the comity of maritime nations.
He noted that some convictions were secured to date, describing it as a signal that Nigeria is in the right path in the war against piracy and other crimes on the nation’s waterways.
“We will not relent on our efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime domain in line with our mandate. NIMASA will continue to work closely with other organs of government, the international community, and other stakeholders to achieve improved security in the Nigerian waterways and the Gulf of Guinea. With the SPOMO Act, we have secured 23 convictions, out of which 10 were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, 10 seven years, while 3 foreigners were fined for their involvement in crime within the Nigerian territorial waters. This will serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements who are still engaged in the nefarious activities on our waterways”, he added.
Jamoh in a statement made available to Maritime Bits opined that notwithstanding the stride being made by the agency in the area of safety and security of the Nigerian maritime domain, the management of the agency equally recognizes the need for professional development and alignment as well as increased partnership and collaboration amongst all stakeholders; the judiciary inclusive.
According to the statement which was signed by NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Edward Osagie, training and development were important components of the agency’s administrative growth.
He quoted Jamoh stressing that NIMASA has a system where officers including those of the Legal Unit of the agency are trained in various fields and admiralty law respectively, in the World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden, for global competitiveness.
The Chairman of the NBA branch in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Adjeh Monday, had earlier in his remarks commended the NIMASA leadership for all the achievements of the agency, reiterating the need for continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders to advance the nation’s maritime industry.
He said the association will continue to seek more value-adding models of collaborating with the agency to provide necessary assistance to NIMASA in its bid to ensure a safe and secure maritime space.