…To be in Nigeria Nov. 20
By Ray Ugochukwu
The head of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), an organ of the United Nations (UN), Mr. Kitack Lim, is happy with the recent feats of Nigeria especially in its fight against sea piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
Consequently, Mr. Lim, who is the Secretary General of the world’s maritime regulatory body, will be visiting the country between November 20 and 21, 2022.
Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this yesterday in Lagos, adding that though the IMO boss was coming on the invitation of an unnamed body, he would be spending quality time with the Agency.
According to him, Lim would be the guest at a special summit to be held on November 20 – 21 in the country.
The NIMASA boss expressed happiness that for 15 years no head of the IMO had visited Nigeria, stressing that it was the country’s exemplary leadership in the war against piracy that had given room for Lim’s coming.
“Let me inform you that the Secretary General of IMO will be visiting Nigeria this month between 20th and 21st. Though the visit is not on our initiation but that of another group, he will be with us because he’s happy with what we’re doing.
“He’s happy with Nigeria, especially what we’ve been doing in stemming acts of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. So, he’ll be here and we will be hosting him in a Summit. We’ll give you details of the event as time goes on”, Jamoh said.
Recall that Nigeria, with NIMASA as the arrow-head, had coordinated other regional countries to form the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum for the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE).
To sustain the gains of the regional war against piracy in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), Nigeria on May 10 – 11, 2022, hosted a regional conference in Abuja to review the activities of the group.
“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”.
“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, IMB, 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”, Jamoh had stated prior to the forum.