Aminat Isah, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated the need for a collaborative efforts as a way of curbing security issues in the Gulf of Guinea.
Buhari stated this to declare open the Global Maritime Security Conference(GMSC) in Abuja today, saying that the Gulf of Guinea through which many critical trade routes connecting the continent to the rest of the world runs through is vital and central to global trade.
According to Buhari, who was represented by the minister of state Foreign affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, world waters account for over 80% of transportation requirements in the global trading supply chain network across established international routes and trade lanes, while the threats of piracy and armed robbery at sea are an issue of global concern.
He noted that the Gulf of Guinea today is at the epicentre of maritime security discussions globally, given the incidents recorded in the region.
He further explained that available statistics however indicates that efforts to eradicate the menace by the governments in the region are bearing dividends.
Citing example of efforts put in place so far, Buhari said ” I am pleased to mention that Nigeria has put in place a suppression of piracy and other offences act, which I signed I to law on the 24th of June 2019.
“The act in essence seek to give further credence to the relevant international treaties of the United Nations and International Maritime Organisation ratified by Nigeria and the continental and regional treaties subscribed to on maritime safety and security, to provide the much needed legal and institutional framework for Nigeria to ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigerian waters.
“The IMB Piracy Reporting Centre which recently reported that there has been a welcome and marked decrease in attacks in the Gulf of Guinea for the second quarter of 2019, particularly commending the Nigerian Navy for actively responding to reported incidents by dispatching patrol boats,” He said
The Minister of Transportation, Hon Rotimi Amaechi earlier in his address pointed out that the conference is organised to examine and address the issues of maritime security with a spotlight on the Gulf of Guinea Region, hence the significant global concern on the rising spate of maritime insecurity and the perception that the Gulf of Guinea Region which accounts for most of these cases.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Minister of State Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, further said the position of Nigeria in the Gulf of Guinea led to the decision of the country to take the lead on behalf of the Gulf of Guinea states in convening the Conference to examine the strategies and coordinated responses in place to address maritime insecurity.
“Whilst there have been several endeavors to address the broad array of real and potential threats in the Gulf of Guinea over time, the approach this time is to appraise the relevance and impacts of the various interventions initiated already to tackle maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea to revise and adapt them to address the current challenges.
“The absence of legal frameworks within member states seems to be a significant challenge in the regional effort to stem the tide,”
She further explained that Nigeria, in a bid to stem the tide has put in place detailed legislation in the form of a Suppression of Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Act to tackle and repress piracy and other maritime crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.
“An integrated maritime security architecture has also been emplaced with a command and control centre for effective policing of the Nigerian waters. The initiative encompasses three main components: A C4-I Intelligence system to enhance domain awareness; acquisition of land, air and marine assets for patrols, quick response and interdiction; and the retraining and capacity building of military response teams to effectively respond to threats and incidents within the maritime domain,” she said.
Senate passes amended oil production sharing contract law
Group urges Buhari to restrict importation of roofing sheets, others
The Federal Government has been advised to adopt policy framework that will lead to the restriction of importation of goods such galvanized roofing sheets and other steel products that are abundantly produced in Nigeria to further boost the nation’s economy.
With the land border closure, it is evident that agricultural sector of the Nigerian economy has improved, therefore, it is a tested hypothesis that if adequate attention is given to the seaports operations, smuggling will be tackled and the steel sector will be saved from collapse.
The Galvanized Iron and Steel Manufacturers’ Association, (GISMA) in a statement signed by its Spokesperson, Mr. Lateef Bello, on Wednesday noted that the boarder closure has brought more economic benefits to the nation.
GISMA noted that the revenue declared by the authority of Nigeria Customs Service, (NSC) is commendable stressing that more can still be achieved through holistic approach to the ongoing smuggling of roofing sheets and other steel products.
According to the statement, “For President Muhammadu Buhari to actualize the many targets as contained in the 2020 appropriation bill presented before the joint session of National Assembly, there is need to place absolute restriction on items made in Nigeria. At the moment, it is saddened to note that smuggled roofing sheets of low standards have flooded Nigerian markets at the detriment of local manufacturers and unsuspecting consumers.
“Going by the experience of some emerging economies in the world such as Malaysia and Singapore, no items produced in these two countries are allowed to be imported and the restriction policy has accelerated their Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) as well as their security techniques.
“It is important to take comparative advantage of this policy to further relief Nigerians of the sufferings and unemployment persisting in the nation. Iron and Steel industry if well protected, is capable of generating an average of 20,000 jobs yearly with significant turnover on the Internally Generated Revenue for the government.”
The group however appealed to President Buhari to take bold steps towards salvaging the economic interest of local manufacturers as well as curbing insecurity which has ravaged some states in the North-East. This was part of our public outcries during a peaceful protest held recently in Kaduna; we thank Mr. President for heeding to our plights.
“In as much as we want to encourage President Muhammadu Buhari to beef up more surveillance on Nigerian Boarder Control System, it is pertinent for the federal government and other relevant agencies to ensure that importation of goods are carried out through Premier Ports with full documentations and follow-ups”, he added.
SOAN Advocates Stringent Measures Against Illegal High Sea Poachers
News4 months ago
Sokoto assembly confirms Gov Tambuwal’s 26 comissioner nominees
Politics5 months ago
Breaking…GOV. ABDULRAZAQ APPOINTS COMMITTEE ON REVIEW OF SALES OF GOVT PROPERTY (See full names)
News4 months ago
Kwara Gov appoints CoS, SSG, CPS
Politics4 months ago
Breaking…. Kwara Gov. appoints more committee members (See names)
Politics1 week ago
Breaking news: Gov Abdulrazaq appoints 6 additional commissioner nominees
Top stories4 months ago
MC Oluomo loses NUTRW Chairmanship bid
Politics4 months ago
Breaking…Kwara assembly suspends 16 LGs chairmen
Education5 months ago
Kwara varsity’s crises resolved as Ahmed bows to pressure (PHOTO)