The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has described the theme of this year’s World Maritime Day “Piracy: Orchestrating the response” as very apt and timely as it was focused on arresting the menace which had threatened global peace.
The Director General of the Agency, Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, stated this in a paper titled “Combating”, piracy and Armed Robbery at sea in Nigerian waters, the efforts of NIMASA so far”, during the occasion held at Hotel Presidential Port Harcourt recently.
Mr Akpobolokemi said the menace at a time had become a major economic and security challenges in Nigeria, going by the number of reported and unreported incidents in Nigerian waters, and the attendant backlash on Maritime transportation to and from Nigeria.
According to him, “it is gladdening therefore that this issue has been brought to the fore today and we are convinced that given this level of attention, it will in no distant future assume manageable proportions”.
He said incidents of piracy are major issues under International Laws and that states have a responsibility to take appropriate steps to ameliorate acts of piracy on the high sea or at any other area outside the state as it affects navigation and safety of the waters and disturbed global trade.
The Director General said for these reasons, it must as of necessity be a source of concern for all and be condemned by well meaning stakeholders and persons.
He further stated that NIMASA has adopted some measures in curbing the menace by collaboration with other security forces and provision of resources with the commencement of Maritime Guard Command (MGC).
Mr Akpobolokemi noted that the MGC of the Agency had started regular patrol of the Lagos waters.
He said the development would deter the activities of pirates and armed robbery at sea, while it is expected to be extended to other susceptible marine waters.