By Innocent Orok
Determined to get Nigeria back into the Category C of the International Maritime Organisation(IMO), Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh, has taken the campaign for the country to clinch a Category C seat on the Council to the London headquarters of the body.
Jamoh, who sought and got an exclusive audience with the IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim, explained Nigeria’s preparedness to be elected alongside 39 other member countries of the organization into its main decision-making organ.
He explained that Nigeria, has in recent times, intensified efforts at ensuring improved maritime security, raising safety standards on Nigerian waters in line with IMO regulations, and achieving a pollution-free marine environment.
While giving a breakdown of noteworthy efforts by the Nigerian government to address problems of maritime piracy, sea robbery, and removal of wrecks for safe navigation, Jamoh told the IMO Scribe that the country’s unwavering drive has resulted in a reduction in maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea and it’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Making specific reference to the recent third-quarter International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report, Jamoh told the IMO SG that Nigerian waterways up to the Gulf of Guinea are presently having improved security.
On the IMB report, Jamoh said “The report says the Gulf of Guinea recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 46 in the same period in 2020. What is of particular importance to us in the report is the fact that Nigeria reported only four incidents during the period, against 17 and 41 cases that were recorded in 2020 and 2018, respectively.
“The IMB report shows that crew kidnappings in the region during the period dropped to only one crew member, compared to 31 taken in five separate incidents in Q3 2020. It is quite remarkable that the only crew kidnapping case recorded during the period under review was against the vessel at the port of exchange, while the average successful kidnapping location during the same period in 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from the land” Jamoh said
On marine environment protection, Jamoh disclosed to Lim that Nigeria has engaged marine litter marshals to monitor and ensure compliance with international standards.
He expressed appreciation to the IMO and other international partners for their support through various maritime safety and security initiatives, while also pledging Nigeria’s commitment to maritime scholarly endeavours under the aegis of World Maritime University (WMU)
It could be recalled that last week, in Lisbon Portugal at the third Seminar of the Atlantic Center, Jamoh solicited the support of Nigeria’s friends to vote for the country into the Council of IMO in the election that is coming up as part of the organization’s 32nd General Assembly from December 6 to 15, 2021.