To successfully tackle rising cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, there is need for multi stakeholder approach, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside yesterday said.
The NIMASA DG, who yesterday lamented that the activities of pirates stifle shipping and by extension commerce, which is the major driver of global economy, further observed, "It is because of the priority attention given to tackling piracy that America created the coast guard, which has so far proved effective in tackling piracy."
Meanwhile, (NIMASA) is to partner Maritime and Ports Authority of Singapore as part of measures to boost development in both countries.D-G of NIMASA, Dr. Peterside yesterday met with his counterpart, Andrew Tan, at an ongoing conference in Singapore.
Peterside, according to the NIMASA told Tan that Nigeria has huge maritime potentials that have remained untapped also called on Singapore investors to take advantage of the reforms in Nigeria's maritime sector to invest in the country.
He also requested partnership with the Singaporean authorities in various areas including technology acquisition for monitoring of the waterways, capacity building of personnel, support to upgrade maritime infrastructure a well as acquisition of more ocean going vessels for indigenous operators.
Peterside assured Singapore investors and indeed the global community of NIMASA's commitment to focus on effective enforcement of all International Maritime Organisation (IMO) instruments for which Nigeria is a signatory as well as build the requisite capacity of personnel & infrastructure for the execution of its mandate, adding clean and safe oceans and security of ships operating in Nigerian waters remain a top priority.
In his comments, Tan who according to the statement, described Nigeria as the new destination for future maritime investments, also expressed surprise that there was no institutional relationship between Nigeria and Singapore despite the fact that Singapore is the second busiest and first trans-shipment port in the world and "Nigeria a major maritime hub in West and central Africa."
He further suggested that Nigeria could benefit from Singapore's well-developed and excess maritime capacity while Singapore can benefit from Nigeria's huge market.
While lamenting the unfortunate inclusion of Nigeria among the top three countries where pirate activities occur, the DG explained that with the new fighting impetus, the trend will be reversed in no distant time, noting that his administration is committed to repositioning NIMASA for the accomplishment of its core mandate of ensuring safe, secure shipping and a cleaner marine environment.
Peterside had recently commended the resolve by the European Union (EU) to invest over 20 million euros on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. The NIMASA D-G said, "More than ever, Nigeria is better positioned to take advantage of strategic partnerships to make the country the hub of maritime activities in West and Central Africa."
Source: Nigeria Today
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