Opinion: Now that the Anti-Piracy Law has been enacted—Olu Akinsoji


Engr. Olu Akinsoji
Mike Igbokwe's observations here and comments here on the newly promulgated law against unlawful acts against the safety of maritime navigation in our jurisdiction is inspiring.
The law as well as the contribution of Mike are inspiring because it has taken fifteen years for us (Nigeria) to consider the primary step of domestication of the international convention (SUA) that came into force for Nigeria 14/5/2004 despite the unholy state of our coast.

Fair enough, tremendous efforts are made particularly in terms of funding various ideas to tackle the problems. Now that the instrument of the foundation for sustainable solution has been made, we should take appropriate step to give the provisions complete interpretations, identify obligatory entities and put in place implementation plan.

Mike has brilliantly highlighted some of the provisions from legal perspectives and should be noted. However, all areas of discretion or ambiguity should be determined in the process of developing the implementation plan.

The implantation plan should be comprehensive as much as possible, including the roles to be played by obligatory entities, volunteers and interest groups. It should have performance indicators and recognise the international, regional and NGOs interest in the whole affairs.

Furthermore, it should be specific on qualification, training and orientation needs of all the key positions in the implementation process. The implementing agency should not see itself as an authority but as the lead agency within the provisions of the law. 

May I also suggest that the full text of the law is uploaded to the website of the implementing agency (NIMASA). 
Finally, considering the international interest and the importance of this law to the foundation of sustainable serene coast, the difficulties (time and resources) in developing a comprehensive implementation plan should be overlooked.

Engr. Olu Akinsoji is  a former Sole Administrator of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom.