NIMASA determined to end piracy in Nigeria Waters- Dakuku Peterside



Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has expressed his agency's determination to fight pirates and other bandits operating on the nation’s territorial waters.

Peterside, while noting that so far the rate of piracy has  reduced, assured  that this trend would continue as the agency moves to introduce new measures to tackle all forms of maritime crime.

Speaking  to  the executive members of the League of Maritime Editors and Publishers who met with him in his office,  the NIMASA DG said the agency was being repositioned to play a new part  in line with  global  best practices.

Peterside ,who explained that the agency was dealing with an international audience, was of the view that this required that the standard to be international as nobody  would assess the country with Nigerian standard.

According to him, part of this new measure is a big fight against piracy and other maritime crime.

He  pointed out that the fight against maritime crime was collective, including the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and every other stakeholder in the industry.

With this measure, he assured that the industry wouid continue to experience drop in maritime crime.

He said, “ the  fight against piracy is a collective effort of all working in the sector, Nigerian Navy, NPA and every other stakeholder in the industry.

“Going forward, we will experience more drop in   cases of piracy and maritime crime. I have always said it, we will do everything to tackle the albatross hanging  around our neck called piracy.  We have put in place a number of things to check piracy and other maritime crime.

“Number one is that in the few days the House of Representatives will pass the Anti-piracy bill. It has gone through second reading, the House has gone  through it clause by clause  and it is remaining the final reading. It is  to be passed  for concurrent by senate, and I think we have made remarkable progress in that regard. When the Bill is passed  into law, it will give us the legal teeth to fight maritime crime and piracy.”

The NIMASA DG said that the agency was  misrepresented on the  deep blue sea project,    which according to him  “involves acquisition of critical maritime assets, boats, intervention aircraft, helicopters, command and control centre and other assets including the training of  of special forces to tackle maritime crime.”

He noted that a lot of  progress had been made, and that the  assets would soon start coming in and would be  on the  waters with large foot print on Nigeria’s territorial waters.

“The pirates cannot be accommodated. We made it clear that by our presence, we will have zero tolerance on pirates and other criminals within our territorial waters.

 “We are collaborating with Nigerian Navy to carry out a number of special operations, including getting support from the US Navy. We have enhanced our surveillance systems. We have a better view of what is happening in our maritime so that we can intervene and respond within short notice. 

"Recently, we rescued a seafarer who was attacked at the coast of Bonny and within a short notice we were able to intervene and he was evacuated with our helicopters”, the DG said.

 The President  of League, Mr  Kingsley Anaroke had in his speech commended the  management of NIMASA for a number of  reforms being introduced by the agency.

Anaroke  said   the new executive of League was  ready to collaborate with  NIMASA  in its various measures  lined up to give the maritime industry an international  status that could compete with other global standards.