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Attacked Vessel: NIMASA to fast track maritime security architecture

…Agency working with relevant authorities on abductees’ release – Dakuku

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In the wake
of the recent attack on a tanker vessel named, ‘Nave Constellation’, the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed its
readiness to fast-track the maritime security architecture, just as the
Director General of the Agency Dr. Dakuku Peterside stated that the Agency is
working with relevant partners to ensure the crew
on-board are secured and safe.

The DG
spoke in Abuja on Thursday, on the sidelines of the ongoing National
Transportation Summit organised by the Chartered Institute of Transport
Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA), stating that the tanker was attacked off the
coast of Bonny with nineteen persons alleged to have been picked up leaving
nine crew members onboard the vessel. 

“The operators of the vessel made contact
with NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy and we immediately went to work,” he
said. 

He noted
that the vessel owners had operated for ten days, within our territorial waters
yet didn’t establish contact with the Harbour Masters. It also didn’t establish
contact with the authorities in Nigeria. 

“However, that isn’t an issue because
life is more precious than any other consideration. We have also immediately
contacted the naval unit around that area and they have gone to work. The Navy
has established contact with the remaining crew members onboard the vessel and
the nine persons onboard the vessel are safe and the vessel is safe.”
The DG who
lamented that this is happening at a time that efforts are being put together
to make Nigerian waterways safe gave the assurance that the Agency will not
rest on its oars. “I think this would ultimately serve as catalyst for us to
fast-track what we are doing to safeguard our waterways so that commerce can
thrive again and people can do economic activities without fear or hindrance.”

While
sympathizing with the victims and their families for the ordeal and challenges
of being kidnapped, he urged every concerned citizen and stakeholders to come
together and work with NIMASA and relevant security Agencies to end the menace.

Recall that
Nigeria recently hosted a Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) where
several engagement with stakeholders from all over the world, on the global
maritime scale towards enhancing collaboration among maritime nations in order
to find lasting solution to the security issues on the Gulf of Guinea and on
the entire West and Central Africa.

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