By Godwin Oritse
Following the increase of ship attacks at berths, the leadership of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, had suggested the constitution of a local maritime committee on the menace of attacks on vessels that are berthed.
Speaking to stakeholders at a meeting in Lagos, Acting Minister of Transportation, Ms. Gbemi Saraki, said there is a need to create a database for these attacks while profiling them.
Saraki explained that until these attacks are properly profiled against the reports of attacks by the international community, it will always be their words against our local maritime security reports.
Similarly, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said that constitution of such a committee will include every maritime stakeholder to share information and counter any likelihood of an attack on vessels at berth.
Jamoh also said that the constitution of such a committee will bring every stakeholder to speed and put them on the same page by exchanging notes and sharing information with each other for the benefit of both the industry and the nation at large.
He explained that Nigeria is a member of a joint working group comprising some international stakeholders like the International Maritime, IMO, NTERTANKO, INTERCARGO, and BIMCO that deliberate on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea from time to time.
The NIMASA boss also explained that the same joint working group of all local relevant stakeholders is what the agency is proposing so everybody will be on the same page.
He stated: “I suggest that this committee meets once or twice a month to compare notes and share information with each other.”
Similarly, the Executive Director, Marine and Operations of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Mr. Onari Brown, also expressed concern at the rate vessels were being attacked at berths.
Brown also said the development has become very worrisome and needs urgent attention.