…As Agency plans Fast Tracking Maritime Security Architecture***
The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside on Thursday expressed his determination to see the 19 crew abducted Tuesday night, from a tanker vessel named, ‘Nave Constellation’ in safe and secure state.
The Maritime First reported the return of piracy into Nigerian waters, heralded by the kidnapped of 19 crew, near Egina, off the coast of Bonny.
Dakuku stated this in Abuja, on the sidelines of the ongoing National Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), disclosing the Agency’s readiness to fast-track the maritime security architecture, in addition to working with relevant partners to ensure the crew safety.
“The operators of the vessel made contact with NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy and we immediately went to work”, he said, noting that the vessel owners had operated for ten days, within our territorial waters yet didn’t establish contact with the Harbour Masters.
It also didn’t establish contact with the authorities in Nigeria.
“However, that isn’t an issue because life is more precious than any other consideration. We have also immediately contacted the naval unit around that area and they have gone to work. The Navy has established contact with the remaining crew members onboard the vessel and the nine persons onboard the vessel are safe and the vessel is safe”, Dakuku said further, lamenting that this is happening at a time that efforts are being put together to make Nigerian waterways safe.
He assured that the Agency will not rest on its oars.
“I think this would ultimately serve as catalyst for us to fast-track what we are doing to safeguard our waterways so that commerce can thrive again and people can do economic activities without fear or hindrance”.
While sympathizing with the victims and their families for the ordeal and challenges of being kidnapped, he urged every concerned citizen and stakeholders to come together and work with NIMASA and relevant security Agencies to end the menace.
It may be recalled that Nigeria recently hosted a Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) where several engagement with stakeholders from all over the world, on the global maritime scale towards enhancing collaboration among maritime nations in order to find lasting solution to the security issues on the Gulf of Guinea and on the entire West and Central Africa.