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Kitack Lim commends fall in piracy incidents in GoG…adds “but we must remain vigilant”

The Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation, Mr. Kitack Lim, has commended Nigeria and other states’ effort leading to a significant reduction in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea region.

Lim, who gave the commendation on Monday while giving his keynote address at the opening of the two-day Nigeria International Maritime Summit, in Lagos, also called for continued vigilance in that regard.

“Across the region, it is encouraging to see the continued success of efforts to eradicate piracy and armed robbery against ships, in particular the significant fall in piracy incidents in the Gulf of Guinea. But we must remain vigilant.

“I am grateful to all coastal states in the region, in particular Nigeria, that have made positive strides to deliver this success and are clearly making progress in assuring the safety and security of navigation within the region,” he said.

Speaking on the importance of embracing new technologies for greener shipping, Lim again commended Nigeria for working with the IMO in developing an effective Port Community System.

His words: “Automation and digitalization are also critical to shipping’s future. IMO seeks to embrace the benefits of new technologies in a considered way including addressing safety, cyber security risks, the impact on the environment and on personnel, both on board and ashore.

“In this regard, I am pleased that IMO and Nigeria have worked together to develop a Port Community System for electronic data exchange for its ports.”

The IMO Secretary General reiterated the body’s commitment to capacity building, saying: “Capacity building initiatives are key to our success. IMO remains committed to supporting the region in that regard including our support to Nigeria in the development of its National Maritime Security Strategy.”

He emphasized the importance of decarbonisation, security, and diversity as critical elements in strengthening the IMO’s objectives of “ensuring the safety of shipping, the prevention of marine and atmospheric pollution by ships supporting a Blue Economy.”

He added: “This work requires great collaboration, communication and cooperation amongst States, the shipping industry and all stakeholders.”

Speaking on the policy of inclusion, Lim said that the IMO had made a number of efforts at ensuring that women are open to career opportunities in the maritime industry, and significant in those efforts is the “celebration of the first annual International Day for Women in Maritime on 18 May.”


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