By Innocent Anaba
DIRECTOR-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has said that sea piracy has declined drastically by 80 per cent on Nigeria’s territorial waters, adding that $783 million had been lost by the country to piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
Bashir said this when he received the executive members of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Lagos State Council, led by the Chairman, Mr. Adeleye Ajayi, on a courtesy visit to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.
He said: “We have recorded a drastic reduction in piracy and this is enough for us to beat our chest, as we are ready to return to the category ‘C’ membership of International Maritime Organisation, IMO.
“However, the year 2021, has witnessed a significant turnaround under my leadership, as insecurity on Nigerian waters has reduced by 80 per cent.
“We want the cost of insurance premium paid by Nigerian business people as a result of insecurity to be reconsidered, as insecurity on the country’s waterways had drastically reduced.
“We have eight coastal states in the country and we want these states to develop their potential in order to contribute to the country’s revenue.
“Our priority as a nation should be striving to project positive reports that will project Nigeria in better light to the international community, as done in advanced countries.
“We cannot achieve much without the media, especially in the area of educating people. The role of the media in any society cannot be overemphasised, as no agency or society can function effectively without the media, because the media helps in shaping public opinion.
“Another election in the Global Maritime Industry, IMO, will hold in November 2021, and I urge the media to showcase the achievements of Nigeria to the world before then in order to put Nigeria at the forefront globally.”
In his remarks, NUJ Lagos Council chairman, Adeleye, lauded NIMASA for the giant strides it had made in the maritime sector, which include the safeguarding of Nigeria’s waterways, collaboration with sister agencies of government as well as donations worth millions of naira to the Internally Displaced Person Camps and victims of the disaster in the country.
Ajayi, who also presented pressing issues of the union to the management of the agency, also sought sponsorship for its fast-approaching Press Week scheduled to hold in October 2021.
Other management staff of NIMASA present at the event were Shehu Ahmed, Executive Director, Operations; Mr Ubong Essien; Special Assistant, Communications and Strategy to the Director-General; and Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director at the agency.
While on the union side include Mrs Abiola Beckley, Vice Chairman Lagos NUJ; Mr Tunde Olalere, Secretary; Mrs Iyabo Ogunjuyigbe, Treasurer; Mr Innocent Anaba, Financial Secretary; Mr Isaac Ayodele, Internal Auditor; Mr Debo Oshundun, Chairman, Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN; Mr. Olayide Awosanya, EX-Officio; and Mr Wale Akodu, Chairman, Press Week Committee.