NIMASA vows to rid Nigeria’s maritime domain of pirates, kidnappers

L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi; Executive Director, Maritime Safety and Shipping Development, Capt. Ezekiel Bala Agaba and Commander, Maritime Guard Command, NIMASA Commodore Ebony Aneke at the World Press Conference in Lagos today. 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Tuesday said it would fight piracy activities as well as kidnappings within the nation’s maritime domain.

R-L: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi; Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Barr. Calistus Nwabueze Obi and Director, Shipping Development, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh at a World Press Conference by the Agency in Lagos today.

“ We have handed them over to the Navy to help us, and working with them and the Civil Defense for prosecution, and some of the vessels are in our custody.

The Director General of NIMASA, Mr Ziakede Akpobolokemi, stated this in his end of year briefing to the press in Lagos.

According to the NIMASA boss, the agency has taken pro-active steps ahead of piracy within the areas and with a promise to continue to frustrate kidnappers in their evil act. 

“If I tell you in the last one month plus, the number of attacks we have foiled in Lagos area and the number of pirates in our custody, it will be alarming, none of them succeeded.

“Just take this Lagos area, it will take you the grace of God to go and do an attack because before even the attack, we are going out, we have got information.

“Besides the satellite, we have other systems of operations that we can use in getting people.

“If you kidnap, we will go after you. That is why we are saying people should not pay for hostages to be released.

``We have to go after them, and crush them. Everybody must die one day, that is the truth about it. We must fearlessly approach any person that is causing us problems. And we are going to sustain that, `` he said.

Akpobolokemi used the occasion to refute reports on the alleged acquisition of warships and gunboats, adding that such rumours may have been carried by those who have had difficulties in perpetrating their illegal activities.

He said the vessels were only decommissioned vessels bought by NIMASA through a public private partnership arrangement being used by the Nigerian Navy with whom the agency has a working agreement.

 “It is the Navy that has fitted their guns on the vessels to aid their policing of the maritime domain,” Akpobolokemi clarified.

He stated that NIMASA’s primary interest was to provide a safe maritime domain, which it had achieved through the Satellite Surveillance Centre and an upgrade of the Global Maritime Distress Safety System(GMDSS) and continuous inter-Agency relations with the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force and the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta.