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UNODC commends Nigeria’s efforts fighting maritime insecurity, drug smuggling in GoG

Mr. Oliver Stolpe(Right) and Mr. Giuseppe Sernia

The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime
(UNODC) has scored Nigeria high on efforts and collaborations to tackle
maritime insecurity and smuggling of hard drugs in the Gulf of Guinea. 

also applauded Nigeria for enacting a distinct anti-piracy law to broadly
confront the problem of piracy and crimes on the country’s territorial waters
and exclusive economic zone. 

The representative of the UNODC Country Director
for Nigeria, Mr. Oliver Stolpe, stated these during a press conference on
Tuesday in Abuja on the second day of the ongoing Global Maritime Security

The Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime
Offences Act 2019 was enacted on June 24, 2019 after an assent by President
Muhammadu Buhari, making Nigeria the first country in West and Central Africa
to have a standalone antipiracy law. 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and
Safety Agency (NIMASA) facilitated the drafting of the Suppression of Piracy
and other Maritime Offences Bill in 2012, in collaboration with the
International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

Stolpe sais, “We need to recognise the
things that have been done right, that is the Suppression of Piracy Act that
was passed by the Nigerian government, which for the first time gives a
comprehensive framework to tackle the issue of piracy and, more broadly,
maritime crimes. We are on a good path.

“The big issue now is the follow up to that,
which is the prosecutions.”
He said the GMSC was a crucial step in the
attempt to deal with insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

Stolpe, who addressed the press conference
alongside the Programme Officer at the UNODC Office in Nigeria, Mr. Giuseppe
Sernia, said one of the major challenges in the Gulf of Guinea was the
“extremely fragmented” nature of the legal framework regulating the maritime

He said, though, there were regional and international
frameworks in place, gaps existed in terms of the countries signing on to the
conventions and actually putting them into domestic legislation and

He said the Gulf of Guinea was also targeted
for trafficking in hard drugs, especially cocaine, by sea, with huge seizures
recently in Cape Verde, where almost 10 tons of cocaine were seized, Guinea
Bissau, and other countries.
Stolpe advised countries to apply the United
Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic

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