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Gulf of Guinea: UN Official urges Stronger Action to Tackle Piracy 

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Gulf of Guinea: UN Official urges Stronger Action to Tackle Piracy 

A senior UN official, Ms. Martha Pobee has called on countries and their international partners to accelerate efforts to counter the singular threat of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Pobee, an Assistant Secretary-General in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) made the appeal while briefing the Security Council at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.

Presenting the Secretary-General’s latest report on the issue, Pobee warned of a shifting situation that would require greater response.

According to her, the decline in incidents is the result of concerted efforts by national authorities, supported by regional and international partners, both on land and at sea.

Actions such as increased patrols, deployment of naval assets, enhanced coordination, as well as convictions, have served as deterrents to criminal activity.

However, she said piracy in the Gulf of Guinea had morphed over this period.

“Pirate groups are adapting to changing dynamics both at sea and in coastal areas,” she said.

“In this respect, the recent decrease in instances of piracy may in part be attributable to the shift by criminal networks to other forms of maritime and riverine crime, such as oil bunkering and theft, which they likely view as both less risky and more profitable”.

She stressed that it was imperative for States and their regional and international partners to accelerate efforts to establish security in the Gulf of Guinea, as outlined in the Yaoundé Code of Conduct, signed in June 2013.

Pobee pointed to some of the achievements since then, such as the recent signing of an agreement to establish a Multinational Maritime Coordination Centre (MMCC) for a zone that covers Cabo Verde, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Senegal.

A maritime exercise involving 17 of the 19 countries that border the Gulf of Guinea, as well as eight international partners, was also conducted last in October over an area stretching from Senegal to Angola.

She also underscored the UN’s continued political and technical assistance to States, including through agencies such as the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

“At present, there is no firm evidence to suggest any potential or possible linkages between terrorist and pirate groups,” she told the Council.

“However, addressing the underlying social, economic, and environmental challenges faced by communities in the region will ultimately serve to contain both threats.”

Pobee said the UN is also strengthening collaboration with international financial institutions to support countries in addressing the underlying causes of fragility and security.

With the 10th anniversary of the Yaoundé framework approaching, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) chief, Ghada Waly while briefing pointed to the opportunity to dedicate greater attention, resources and action to supporting maritime security and the rule of law in the Gulf of Guinea.

She urged the international community to help governments develop their capacities and legal frameworks, with domestic laws that criminalise piracy and enable prosecution.

“We must improve investigation and prosecution capacities, to give teeth to enforcement efforts and reach a ‘legal finish’ to every case pursued,” she said.

Waly highlighted the need to be quick to respond to the shifting trends in piracy to “prevent the threat from simply taking a different form”.

She called for developing a regional framework to expand cooperation and urged vigilance against the possibility of terrorist groups in the Sahel linking up with criminal enterprises in coastal regions.

The UNODC Executive Director also underscored the crucial need to address the root causes of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea by working with vulnerable coastal communities.

These populations are also dealing with challenges such as environmental degradation and biodiversity loss, fuelled by climate change and illegal fishing.

“Criminals at sea must be stopped and held accountable, but to ensure a truly sustainable response, due attention must be paid to the people who may become such criminals, the factors that drive them to it, and the people most affected,” she said.

“We must pursue community-based crime prevention strategies and engage with at-risk and marginalised youth to cultivate personal and social skills, prevent risky behaviors, and grant them opportunities.”

Waly said UNODC is supporting the development of community-based crime prevention strategies in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which she hopes will be replicated in other coastal communities.

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CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola

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CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola

…Pledged collaboration to ensure the transportation sector is professionally driven

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

CIoTA Executives Visit NIMASA DG, Mobereola
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dayo Mobereola (right), receiving a plaque from the President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr Segun Obayendo, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

The DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

The President of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), Mr. Segun Obayendo; the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola; the Executive Director of Operations, NIMASA, Engr. Fatai Adeyemi; and the Executive Director of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, NIMASA, Jibril Abba, during the NIMASA DG’s conferment as a Fellow of CIoTA at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship at the institute.

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NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman

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NPA: Tinubu Sacks Bello-Koko, Appoints Dantsoho New MD; Sen. Adeyeye Chairman

President Bola Tinubu has kicked out the Nigerian Ports Authority NPA Managing Director, Muhammed Bello-Koko and replaced him with Dr Abubakar Dantsoho. He also approved the appointment of Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye as Chairman of the NPA Board.

A statement by his spokesman, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the new Managing Director is a core professional and holds a PhD, in Maritime Technology.

“Dr Dantsoho holds a Doctorate in Maritime Technology from Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom, and a Master’s degree in International Transport from Cardiff University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Dr Abubakar-Dantsoho

“Before his appointment, he had served in various roles in the Nigerian Ports Authority as Assistant General Manager; Technical Assistant to the Managing Director; Port Manager, Onne Port; and Principal Manager, Tariff & Billing”, Ngelale stated, adding:

“Senator Adeyeye, the Board Chairman, is a seasoned lawyer, journalist, and politician,” the statement further said.

Sen. Adedayo Adeyeye

Adeyeye is a former Minister of State for Works and a former Ekiti South Senatorial District senator.

“The President expects the new leadership of this pivotal agency to deploy excellence in the discharge of their duties to enable efficient port services and improved industry outcomes,” Ajuri Ngelale indicated further.

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Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

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Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has expressed concern over the lack of understanding among some freight forwarders regarding the role of the Enforcement Unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Tin Can Port.

In a statement released by NAGAFF Headquarters, the association emphasized that the Enforcement Unit serves as gatekeeper and an intervention force, mandated to police the ports and border stations, acting on intelligence information from the Customs Intelligence Unit, Interpol, and informants.

NAGAFF clarified that the Customs Intelligence Unit operates effectively, bursting revenue crimes in customs ports, and encouraged freight forwarders to report any corruption or observations to the appropriate authorities.

Customs Enforcement: NAGAFF Clarifies Role And Mandate Amidst Allegations Of Frustration, Extortion

The association advised freight forwarders to maintain professional standards, ensuring genuine declaration of imports and exports for customs purposes, as non-disclosure is an offence against customs laws, leading to seizure and prosecution.

NAGAFF assured high response rates from its High Command to protect genuine declarations and compliance, emphasizing that the Comptroller General of Customs and his management team will not tolerate any corrupt acts.

The statement was signed by Dr Clement Iwegbuna, NPS, NAGAFF Hqtrs, and forwarded to the Comptroller General of Customs, DCG Enforcement, and DCG T&T Hqtrs for their information and records.

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ADEBAYO SARUMI: Doyen of Maritime Industry Marks 80th Anniversary, Saturday 

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