*As NIMASA sets to launch 7 new Boats
*FG invests N50bn in ship repair
By Frank Odinukaeze
The effort of Nigeria in ensuring the reduction of piracy and other maritime crimes in the country and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG),has been hailed by the Norwegian government through the country’s minister of foreign affairs,Her Excellency, Anniken Huitfldt who affirmed that Nigeria is an important partner in maritime security.
Huitfeldt who is on a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency ( NIMASA) stated this on Monday at the agency’s Resource Center ,Kirikiri ,Lagos
The Norwegian foreign affairs minister who was accompanied on the visit by the Norwegian ambassador to Nigeria Mr. Kuit Eiliv Lein and other government officials from Norway, including business owners said she was in Nigeria to discuss the many common interests between Norway and Nigeria, particularly in the maritime sector. Safety at sea, and sustainable oceans and maritime security amongst others.
She commended the DG of MIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh for his efforts in reducing piracy in the GoG, adding that Nigeria is a top leading maritime county in Africa .
Her words,”I am deeply impressed by what I am seeing here today, because safety and the well-being of seafarers in the country including the Gulf of Guinea is highly important to us, so Nigeria is the rightful partner for Norway and I am here to learn” she said.
Speaking at the occasion , the DG of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated that NIMASA ,as a regulatory authority operates on four cardinal Acts which include the NIMASA Act of 2007, the Merchant Shipping Act of 2007, the Cabotage Acts of 2003 and the SPOMO Act of 2019.
He noted that from 48 cases of piracy recorded in Nigerian waters in 2018 to 35 in 2019 down to 35 in 2021, no piracy attacks was recorded in 2022 and in the first quarter of 2023.
He hinted that the agency is planning to build maritime institution in all the states of the federation,so that no state will be left out or lagging behind.
He said NIMASA has received so many commendations from maritime organisations from the United States of America,International Maritime Organization (IMO), amongst others.He said the laudable improvement in the reduction of piracy in the GoG ,has demonstrated Nigeria’s determination and commitment to improve security in the region’s maritime domain.
Dr Jamoh hinted that in order to further stretch the security architecture for securing the coastal waters and the region from maritime thefts and piracy,the agency has acquired 7 new Boats ,which it intends to launch next month.
On ship repairs,Dr.Jamoh said the Federal Government has invested over N50 bn and the invested is expected to generate over N1 bn revenue monthly.He said this will generate foreign exchange and reduce idleness by youths.
The NIMASA DG also informed that the disbursement of the cabotage Vessel Financing Fund ( CVFF) would be disbursed in the next few weeks
He said Norway is a big maritime nation , ranking 5th biggest maritime nation in the whole world.
He said the visit of the Norwegian foreign affairs minister offers opportunity to Nigerian ship owners to leverage on ,stressing that Nigeria as a big maritime nation will explore the opportunities the visit has provided.
His words,” We look forward to strengthening ties between our two countries by business relationship and synergy between NIMASA and the Norwegian maritime Industry in general”.