There has been a remarkable reduction in the incidents of piracy and sea robberies on Nigerian waters following increased synergy and deployment of enhanced technology.
The Director General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dakuku Peterside, disclosed this when he featured as a guest on Lagos-based Television breakfast show.
Peterside said that NIMASA has increased its collaboration with other government security agencies and neighbour countries within the West African region.
This collaboration, according to him, has enhanced a quicker response time by NIMASA as the agency now get alerted in the event of maritime emergencies like piracy and sea robberies.
He described the Strait of Malacca, Gulf of Arden and the Gulf of Guinea as the three most dangerous maritime hot spots in the world.
He said that before now, none of the vessels on Nigeria waters were locally built, adding that the agency has intensified efforts on making cabotage work by achieving 10% of local capacity in vessel building.
This, according to him, is not satisfactory as it is a step to further improvement of local capacity in boat and ship building.
He said that
there were two ship building facilities in Rivers State, one in Onne and another sited in Port Harcourt. “Another one,” he added, “is in Warri Delta State.”
Peterside explained that the Nigerian cabotage law was fashioned after an American Jones Act and that waivers were not peculiar with the nation’s cabotage law as other countries grant same where they lack capacity too.
He pointed out that foreigners were not barred but growing local capacity was an ongoing drive NIMASA has commenced and will sustain.
On the global maritime scene, Peterside said that Nigeria was putting itself forward to have a seat on the council of International Maritime Organisation.
He disclosed that Nigeria would be hosting a conference of 32 member-countries of Association of African Maritime Administrators next month in a bid to mobilize support for the IMO Council Election coming up later in the year.
He said that Nigeria has had more invitations in recent time than any other maritime country to technical training. This, he said, was as a result of increased confidence in Nigeria.