By Nuel Suji – Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has said that tackling the rising cases of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea requires multi stakeholder approach.
Speaking to journalists at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja on his way to Singapore, Dr. Peterside said that a legal framework that prescribes stiffer sanctions, a more vigorous and vigilant military led patrol and better intelligence gathering network will help but cannot be the only solutions to tackling sea piracy.
The NIMASA DG who noted that the activities of pirates stifle shipping and by extension commerce observed that “the priority attention given to tackling piracy by a country like America informed her creation of the coast guard which has so far proven effective in tackling piracy”.
Asked if NIMASA and Nigeria is considering setting up a specialized coast guard like the US did, Dr. Peterside said every avenue will be explored towards keeping Nigerian waterways safe as well as the ships that ply them but that it requires wider consultation highlighting that NIMASA under his leadership is already championing a number of initiatives aimed at achieving zero pirate activities in Nigerian waters.
While lamenting the unfortunate inclusion of Nigeria among the top three countries where pirate activities occur, the DG said that with the new fighting impetus, the trend will be reversed in no distant time as his administrations committed to re-positioning NIMASA for the accomplishment of its core mandate of ensuring safe, secure shipping and a cleaner marine environment.
The DG who is in Singapore at the invitation of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore is billed to address a forum of maritime regulators and experts at this year’s Singapore Maritime Week on the topic “indispensable Shipping: Meeting the Regulatory Requirements”.