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Anti-piracy war: Nigeria hosts regional maritime security conference

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The fifth plenary of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum for the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE) will hold in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on 10th and 11th May.

NIMASA is the lead agency in the Ministry of Transportation, which is organising this forum with the Nigerian Navy in partnership with the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC), based in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

With “Enduring and Sustainable Security” as its theme, all regional Navies and other relevant international stakeholders are expected to attend.

Speaking ahead of the forum, NIMASA’s Director General, Dr Bashir Jamoh identified regional co-operation as having played an important role in reducing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoC).

According to him, “the establishment of GOG-MCF/SHADE has enabled working-level stakeholders from the GoG region and outside the region to connect and discuss how best to tackle piracy in the area. We believe that this has been a catalyst for non-regional stakeholders to step up and initiate effective maritime law enforcement operations to support regional efforts”.

He further said: “These collaborative initiatives and efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional Navies, including the deployment of the Deep Blue Project, has been responsible for the considerable reduction in piracy incidents on Nigerian waters and the GoG region. It is noteworthy that the International Maritime Bureau has removed Nigeria from the global piracy list.

“Achieving this feat is not easy, but sustaining the status will be more challenging. Our goal is to sustain this new status of a piracy free Gulf of Guinea”.

GOG-MCF/SHADE was established by Nigeria and 22 countries of the ICC in July 2021. The goal was to implement effective operational counter-piracy cooperation amongst regional and international Navies, as well as the shipping industry and reporting Centres of the Yaounde Code of Conduct for the a Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa region”.

The previous edition of the plenary held virtually last July due to travel restrictions enforced by the Covid-19 pandemic, and was hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute in Accra, Ghana.

Leading participants in plenary from Nigeria will be the Transportation Minister, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi; the Minister of State, Senator Gbemisola Saraki; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo; and Jamoh, while Captain Bell Bell of the ICC-Yaounde will be leading the international Navies and other participants.

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