Stakeholders in the maritime industry have thumb up the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) over the removal the list of countries designated as risk maritime nations by the International Bargaining Forum (IBF).
The stakeholders made their views public under the auspices of the Maritime Elders Forum, a platform which comprises so many key players in the maritime sector of the economy.
They took turn to give kudos to the apex maritime regulatory authority for the strides it has made over the years since Dr. Bashir Jamoh was appointed its Director General.
NIMASA had in a statement issued in Lagos and made available to Maritime Bits confirmed the improved global ratings of security in Nigerian maritime domain as a result of what it called “sustained collaborative efforts” with other stakeholders especially the Nigerian Navy.
According to the statement which was signed by NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Mr. Edward Osagie said the IBF which is a body that brings together the International Transport Federation (ITF) and the international maritime employers that make up the Joint Negotiating Group (JNG) listed 5 designated risk areas and applicable benefits in the event of attacks leading to deaths and disability, mentioning the Gulf of Guinea as second extended war risk zone covering Liberia/Ivory Coast border to 00°N 005°E, to the Angola/ Namibia border.
While reacting to the IBF report, Jamoh described it as a landmark achievement under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari
His words: “This achievement is a product of a well-structured multimodal policy which has been implemented over the years to fight piracy and other criminalities in Nigerian Waters. The Legal instrument called SPOMO Act signed into Law by President Buhari in 2019, the full implementation of the Deep Blue Project by NIMASA, expanded assets and capacity of the Nigerian Navy, enhanced cooperation between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, and the regional collaborative efforts under the umbrella of SHADE Gulf of Guinea midwifed by NIMASA, are all policies of the current administration and the benefits are gradually coming to fruition. We are focused on ultimately improving and reducing the cost of commercial shipping in Nigeria”.
Notable maritime institutions like the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) have lauded the reduction in piracy in Nigeria following enhanced patrol and relevant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered by NIMASA with other security agencies.
The 2023 IBF list called for double compensation for seafarers who die or suffer disability on the date of attack on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea.