March 9, 2023

Piracy delisting:  Nigeria ships save over $4,000 per call — Gambo, Naval chief

Piracy delisting:  Nigeria ships save over $4,000 per call — Gambo, Naval chief

By Kingsley Omonobi

ABUJA-Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, said yesterday that with the delisting of Nigeria from the list of piracy-prone countries by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB, as a result of improved security of the maritime domain by the Nigerian Navy, insurance premium paid by ships coming into Nigeria has fallen from $5,000 to $946.

Gambo, who disclosed this at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between the Nigeria Navy and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, at Naval headquarters, Abuja, vowed to sustain the feat.

He said:  “This has ultimately reduced high insurance premium (known as war risk premium), which is usually factored into shipping cost due to the prevalence of piracy incidences.  

”These high costs are subsequently passed on to consumers to enable shipping companies recoup their losses.”

Gambo applauded efforts of the agency in collaborating with the Nigerian Navy, especially in research and development (R&D), which necessitated the visit to the Naval Dockyard Limited in Lagos, geared towards refining Nigerian Navy local ship construction efforts.

He added:  “This indigenous shipbuilding effort has enhanced presence of the Nigerian Navy at sea, which led to significant reduction of piracy incidents, culminating into delisting Nigeria from list of International Maritime Bureau, IMB, list of piracy-prone countries.

“The good news is that sequel to delisting Nigeria from the IMB list of piracy-prone countries in March last year; the insurance premium has been reduced from $5,000 to $946.

“I am, therefore, elated not just that we are here to witness signing of this Memorandum of Understanding but also for what it represents.

”NASENI’s tremendous efforts, which is changing the dynamics of engineering as well as facilitating R&D initiatives at every sector of human endeavour in our great nation and beyond, which is outstanding and commendable.

“This Memorandum of Understanding is not just a piece of paper; it re-ignites partnership between both organizations in several ways, including but not limited to promoting mutual synergy towards enhancing R&D for enhanced security as well as fostering operations and administrative engagements that would enhance development of sustainable blue economy for Nigeria’s prosperity.”

He appreciated the sustained efforts and support from the federal government, which had been instrumental to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Navy.

“I therefore consider it most appropriate to again thank President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unflinching support, who coincidentally is the Executive Chairman Board of NASENI.  The Nigerian Navy is indeed very grateful.

“I wish to also appreciate the Technical Committee that facilitated this occasion and to again salute the courage of the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI,, Prof. Muhammad Haruna and his management team.

”I wish to assure you that the Nigerian Navy is well positioned to meet up with the terms of this unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding and I look forward to a mutually beneficial partnership.

”I, therefore, implore both parties to be committed towards attainment of the objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding for the good of Nigeria and benefit of Nigerians,” the Naval chef said.

In his remarks, Prof. Haruna described the signing ceremony as historic, noting that the working partnership between the Navy and NASENI had actually commenced with yesterday’s ceremony only a formalization of the relationship.

He disclosed that the most important component of the MoU was the effort geared towards saving the country from expending huge foreign exchange in procuring equipment and capacity in technology as well as developing capacity of the Nigerian Navy to improve security architecture in the nation’s maritime domain.

The NASENI boss commended the Navy for its achievement so far in the area of research and development, noting that during his visit to the Nigerian Navy Dockyard in Lagos, he was hugely impressed with capacity of Nigerian Naval engineers in the area of ship building and ship repairs.

Earlier, the Chief of Naval Engineering (CONE), Rear Admiral Sulaiman El-Ladan, said the MoU sought to harmonize Nigerian Navy’s capacity, to utilize available manpower of both organizations to take ownership and utilize technology in ship building and associated areas.