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Nigerian waters now safer, says IMB

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a specialised department of the
International Chamber of Commerce, has released its report for the first
quarter of 2019 showing an increased level of safety in the Nigerian Maritime

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre said no vessel was reported hijacked in the
period under review, marking the first time Nigeria had such record since the
first quarter of 1994. 

The report noted that in the first quarter of 2019,
Nigeria experienced a decrease in reported piracy incidents, compared to the
same period in 2018.

The report further stated that there was a great improvement in the efforts to
actively respond to incidents in the Nigerian Maritime Domain.

The IMB Director, Pottengal Mukundan, disclosed that Nigeria was gaining
advantage from coordinated responses to incidents via its maritime regulatory
agency, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the
Nigerian Navy.  The Director called for sustenance of the collaborative

Pottengall stated, “These latest statistics from the IMB Piracy Reporting
Centre are encouraging. However, first quarter statistics should not be a basis
to anticipate trends through the rest of the year, as it’s too short a period. 

“It, nonetheless, confirms the importance of information sharing and coordinated
action between the industry and response agencies. Going forward, it is
critical to continue to build a more effective reporting structure to enable a
strong, unified response when dealing with piracy incidents.”

Reacting to the report, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside,
stated that the Agency would continue to do all in its powers, within the ambit
of the law, to ensure that piracy in Nigerian territorial waters was
drastically reduced, if not eradicated. 

Dakuku said the Federal Executive
Council’s recent approval of the Deep Blue Project, which is an
all-encompassing maritime security architecture, was a clear demonstration of
the fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari Government was leaving no stone
unturned in its determination to tackle the menace of piracy.

The DG stated, “This report by IMB is not a surprise because if you consider
how seriously the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is paying
attention to maritime safety and security, which led to the approval of the
Deep Blue Project geared towards tackling all illegalities in the maritime
sector, you would understand that these are the best times to invest in
maritime in Nigeria.”

Dakuku said the Agency would continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Armed
Forces, the Police and other relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that
Nigeria became a hub of maritime business in Africa.

The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre, which is a 24-hour free service offered by the
IMB, enables shipmasters to report any incidents of piracy, armed robbery or

Since 1992, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre has provided the maritime industry,
government bodies and response agencies with timely data on the location of
piracy and armed robbery incidents at sea

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