The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has stated that the Agency will continue to take deliberate steps to work with critical institutions and professional bodies to reposition Nigeria’s maritime industry.
Speaking during a courtesy call by a branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to the Agency, Jamoh stated that working with the association and the judiciary was sacrosanct to the Agency, given the complex and time sensitive nature of maritime issues and the attendant requirement for prompt resolutions.
“Prompt dispensation of Justice is important for achieving success in our drive to elicit a sustained investors’ confidence, and the judiciary is a critical factor in this drive. When there is a delay in a case, investment opportunities are lost. Let me therefore use this opportunity to solicit the cooperation of the Nigerian Bar Association to always push for timely dispute resolution for maritime related issues, as we all have one role or another to play in catalyzing the Nigerian economy,” Jamoh said.
Speaking further, Jamoh observed that the Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Crimes (SPOMO) Act 2019 has come to stay and it is victory for Nigeria as a whole in the nation’s determination to assume her rightful position in the comity of maritime nations. He noted that some convictions were secured to date, describing it as a signal that Nigeria is in the right path in the war against piracy and other crimes on the nation’s waterways.
According to the DG, “We will not relent on our efforts to ensure a safe and secure maritime domain in line with our mandate. NIMASA will continue to work closely with other organs of government, the international community, and other stakeholders to achieve improved security in the Nigerian waterways and the Gulf of Guinea. With the SPOMO Act, we have secured 23 convictions, out of which 10 were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, 10 seven years, while 3 foreigners were fined for their involvement in crime within the Nigerian territorial waters. This will serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements who are still engaged in the nefarious activities on our waterways”.
He opined that notwithstanding the stride being made by the Agency in the area of safety and security of the Nigerian maritime domain, the Management of the Agency equally recognizes the need for professional development and alignment as well as increased partnership and collaboration amongst all stakeholders; the Judiciary inclusive.
He averred that training and development were important components of the Agency’s administrative growth, stressing that NIMASA has a system where officers, including those of the of the Legal Unit of the Agency are trained in various fields and admiralty law respectively, in the World Maritime University (WMU), Sweden, for global competitiveness.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the NBA branch in the Federal Capital Territory, Mr. Adjeh Monday, commended the NIMASA leadership for all the achievements of the Agency, reiterating the need for continuous collaboration with relevant stakeholders to advance the Nation’s maritime industry. He said the Association will continue to seek more value-adding models of collaborating with the Agency, to provide necessary assistance to NIMASA in its bid to ensure a safe and secure maritime space.