NIMASA Calls for Stricter Laws On Piracy, Maritime Crimes
As DG Harps On Blue Economy Potentials
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has called on the Judiciary to enact laws to enhance effective administration and speedy prosecution of criminals on Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, GoG.
The NIMASA DG, represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Hon. Chudi Offodile who spoke at the 3rd Nigerian Admiralty Law Colloquium with the theme “Beyond Maritime Security Threats In The Gulf Of Guinea: Harnessing The Gains Of A Secured Maritime Domain”, said “It is gratifying to note, that events have moved so rapidly that so soon after a dark period when all discourse centered around insecurity and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, we are today sufficiently emboldened to move the trend of engagement to another level as we consider the vital issue of harnessing the gains of a secured maritime domain.
“It is essential to note that a secured maritime domain is vital to the development and advancement of the world economy because without effective Maritime Security measures our economic growth will be hampered by the threats posed by piracy, illegal fishing and other criminal activities”
“It is therefore imperative that we focus continually on establishing and maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment as this colloquium provides us with a unique opportunity to discuss the strategies or policies and practices necessary to tip the full potential of the Nigerian maritime space while sustaining the climate of security necessary for development” the NIMASA DG said
While canvassing the need for a safe and secured maritime domain, the Dr. Jamoh said the gains inherent in a protected maritime environment are enormous.
“It imperative therefore that we focus continually on establishing and maintaining a safe and secure maritime environment. This colloquium provides us with a unique opportunity to discuss the strategies, policies, and practices necessary to tap the full potential of the Nigerian maritime space, while sustaining the climate of security necessary for development,” he said.
Under pinning the importance of the judiciary in maritime development the DG said “I use this opportunity to acknowledge the very important position of the judiciary in a democratic government and its critical role in the security and safety of our territorial waters and the gulf of Guinea”
“I am optimistic that this collaboration with the judiciary will further encourage the process of reviewing major maritime laws such as the Nigerian maritime administration and safety agency Act 2007 and the Coastal and Inland shipping Cabotage act 2003”
On the NIMASA and Cabotage undergoing reviews at the National, Assembly express hope that the review shall benefit the sector.
“The process of the repeal and re-enactment of the merchant shipping act of 2007 which has been passed by the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting concurrence by the Senate is a consequence of this collaboration. The review of this legislation will without a doubt shall engender a more effective implementation of maritime safety and security as well as stimulate activities in our maritime domain resulting in the development and diversification of the Nigerian economy”
The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Institute, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, represented by Justice M.D Mohammed, in his key not address said the law colloquium workshop is aimed at enabling effective and efficient maritime adjudication in Nigerian courts to curb the menace of piracy and maritime crimes within the Gulf of Guinea”.
“The maritime domain provides direct economic opportunities to a number of African countries including Nigeria and it facilitates international trade to merchandise goods for all these countries. Maritime related activities such as shipping, port facilities, tourism, fishing, oil and mineral harvesting promote economic growth”.
“It is therefore crucial that we continue the conversation on ways to counter threats and insecurity in this sector by upholding the effective Administration of our Criminal Justice system. This Workshop could not have come at a better time than now. I believe that at the end, we will make significant progress in handling cases related to maritime security in our courts,” the Chief Justice said.