The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh has emphasized the pivotal role played by collaboration with the Nigerian Navy in enhancing maritime security within Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
This statement came during a significant gathering where he welcomed Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, along with a delegation of senior Naval officers in Lagos.
Jamoh highlighted the profound transformation witnessed in the security landscape of Nigerian waters, acknowledging that the transition from over 26 piracy incidents to zero piracy incidents in almost two years is a testament to the effective collaboration between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy.
He underscored the confidence instilled in stakeholders due to this collaboration, which has drawn interest from nations like Brazil and Ghana, eager to emulate the successful NIMASA-Naval model.
Reflecting on the evolution of Nigeria’s maritime sector, Jamoh stressed the imperative of translating policies into tangible benefits for Nigerians through the Blue Economy. He noted that collaboration with the Nigerian Navy remains a cornerstone in ensuring security as a priority for the development of maritime tourism and fishing sectors. In line with this vision, an eight-member committee, equally represented by both NIMASA and the Navy, has been formed to propel the country’s transition from Crude to Blue Economy, a campaign initiated in 2021.
Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan expressed appreciation for NIMASA’s non-kinetic support to the Western Naval Command and emphasized the importance of sustained information sharing between NIMASA and the Navy. He urged NIMASA’s support for ‘Operation Water Guard’ to counter smuggling activities around the Badagry channel. Rear Admiral Hassan, accompanied by Commodore OA Akinbami, acknowledged the functional Deep Blue assets and advocated for strengthened collaboration between the Western Naval Command and NIMASA’s C4i center.
Furthermore, Rear Admiral Hassan highlighted the potential of Tongeji Island in Badagry, situated between Nigeria and Benin Republic, as an oil-rich island with immense prospects for maritime tourism. He underscored the island’s proximity to Badagry, accessible within 55 minutes by water from the closest Nigerian village and merely 5 minutes from Porto Novo. He urged NIMASA to bring this opportunity to the attention of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, highlighting the island as a promising avenue for the ministry’s consideration in fostering maritime tourism.
Osagie Edward, FNIPR, Assistant Director of Public Relations at NIMASA, affirmed the commitment of the Agency in fostering this collaboration and highlighted Tongeji Island as a potential hub for maritime tourism, signaling a promising avenue for Nigeria’s marine and blue economy development.