NORWAY APPLAUDS NIGERIA’S COMMITMENT TO MARITIME SECURITY
** Hails her leadership role in the Gulf of Guinea
By Mcanthony Onuoha
The Federal Government of Nigeria has received a very warm commendation from Norwegian Government for her leading role in ensuring Safety and Security in the Gulf of Guinea and expressed her readiness to strengthen bilateral relationship with Nigeria.
The commendation came from the Royal Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt after a working visit to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA.
LEFT-RIGHT : NORWAGIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ANNIKEN HUITFELDT, THE DG OF NIMASA, DR. BASHIR JAMOH AND THE NORWAGIAN AMBASSADOR TO NIGERIA, MR. LEIN KNUT
During the august visit, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr.Bashir Jamoh, took the Minister and her team on a tour to the Marine Environment Management Laboratory and the Command, Control, Computer, Communication and Information Center, otherwise known as the C4i Center of the Deep Blue Project, both located at the Agency’s operational office at Kirikiri, Lagos.
Huitfeldt, whose delegation from Norway included Ship-owners from the Scandinavian country and the Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Lein Knut, said the Gulf of Guinea was important to global shipping, stating that the Norwegian Government was glad for the improved safety and security in the region as experienced in recent years.
The Minister added that her country was ready to strengthen relationship with Nigeria in the maritime sector with particular reference to capacity development.
According to her, “the Norwegian Government is happy to be in collaboration with NIMASA and Nigeria as a whole, with regards to the maritime sector today. The safety and security of vessels and Seafarers particularly in the Gulf of Guinea is highly prioritized by the Norwegian government. Therefore, Nigeria is a very important partner for Norway. We came here with shipowners from Norway to explore ways of collaboration to deepen the relationship between both countries, particularly in the area of capacity development. NIMASA has progressed very well in achieving her vision of being the leading Maritime Administration in Africa”.
In his response, the Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR assured the Norwegian delegation that the Agency in collaboration with other organs of government particularly the Nigerian Navy would strengthen regional collaboration to sustain the momentum of improved security in the region. He also noted that the yet to be disbursed Cabotage Vessel Financing Funds CVFF would enhance shipping development in the country.
In his words, “We are mindful of the importance of collaboration in driving the growth of the Nigerian maritime sector, hence we will continue to partner with relevant security agencies like the Nigerian Navy and other global partners in order to sustain the momentum of securing the Nigeria waters and the Gulf of Guinea”, Jamoh said.
Regarding the CVFF, the DG said, “We are at the last stage of disbursing the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, as the Ministry has met with all parties involved; as soon as the modalities are set, shipowners should be rest assured that the funds will be disbursed very soon”.
However, the Executive Director Norwegian Ship owners Association Audun Halvorsen informed that their association with over 1700 members was looking forward to collaborating with NIMASA and shipowners in Nigeria in the areas of investment and capacity building.
“I commend the great work of NIMASA and the Government of Nigeria to curb piracy and maritime crime, not only in Nigeria, but throughout the whole region. We see Nigeria has a lot to offer, as you have made impressive progress; improving the maritime security situation in the region, not only to your own benefits, but for all the coastal states”, Halvorsen said.
DG OF NIMASA, DR.BASHIR JAMOH, PRESENTING A SOUVENIR TO ROYAL NORWAGIAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS, ANNIKEN HUITFELDT .
It is noteworthy that NIMASA, under the leadership of Dr. Bashir Jamoh has not failed to prioritise synergy, cooperation and collaboration in actualizing its tripartite mandates of Security, Safety and Shipping Development. A move which in no doubt has set the Agency on the right path of actualizing a flourishing maritime sector in Nigeria and for Nigerians.