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Maritime Reality Check:  War risk insurance surcharge on Nigeria-bound cargoes will be stopped if…

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has disclosed that Nigeria may soon be free from the burden of the war risk insurance surcharge placed on Nigeria-bound cargos due to high piracy propensity that the nation had suffered.

The optimism of the freedom is based on the fact that Nigeria has not suffered any pirates attacks in the last five months, and the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) had earlier in March exited the country from the list of high piracy-prone countries. 

Jamoh made the disclosure while briefing the Minister of State for Transport, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, on developments and operations of the C4i Centre in NIMASA Resource Development Facility in Kirikiri Lagos.

The C4i – The Command, Control, Computer Communication and Information was established as the heart of the security architecture of the Deep Blue Project, and projected to operate on a 24 hour basis.

It is equipped with alert setting capabilities, Coastal Automatic Identification System (AIS) and SAT AIS signals all over the world, in liaison with some international security networks for access to database for vessel movement, ability to monitor vessels movement six years backwards.

Speaking, the NIMASA DG said that Lloyd’s of London, coordinators of insurance surcharges on Nigeria-bound cargoes had held a meeting with him requesting that he makes a presentation on measures that have been put in place to sustain the prevention of attacks on the nation’s waters stretching the Gulf of Guinea.

Their argument, according to Dr. Jamoh, is that, five months zero-attacks from pirates was not enough grounds to exit Nigeria from the list, considering that she had been on the list in the past 25 years.

His words: “For the war risk insurance, we had a meeting yesterday (Monday) and they told us that we have been on the list for 25 years and we cannot just be removed from the list within five months.

“They meet every quarter and they had just finished the last quarter’s meeting. In September they would have another meeting. So, they expect me to give them the measures that Nigeria has put in place; short term, medium term and long term measures.

“They said that having stayed five months without attack is not enough to cancel 25years record.  So, they are still afraid. They want me to write a position paper between now and September. They would look at it and go back to the Council. They are Lloyd’s of London; they are the ones in charge.

“So, I am starting now, to write my position paper and I am going to present it, and they would take it to the Council. If luck is on our side that we don’t have any attack up till September, then we would be able to get reprieve and the cancelation of the war risk insurance.”

Responding, a visibly elated Sen. Saraki promised support for the NIMASA DG on this assignment, to get desired results.

She said: “Ok, what we would do, DG, we would also work with you directly. You can come and practice your paper with us in the Ministry directly. And then we would take it forward. It is wonderful, and the fact that we were even able to sit there and discuss to be removed from the list in itself, it is something.”



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