Lagos – The Director-General of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr Dakuku Peterside, on Friday said the absence of an appropriate legal framework was hampering the fight against piracy.
Peterside spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
He said unless the National Assembly made the appropriate law to strengthen the capacities of the relevant agencies, the fight against criminals in the Gulf of Guinea might not yield the desired results.
The NIMASA boss, who noted that the Gulf of Guinea was fast becoming one of the world`s greatest threats to maritime trade behind that of Somalia, said concerted efforts of all stakeholders was needed to check the threat.
“The greatest problem with the fight against pirates and other criminals in the Gulf of Guinea is the absence of the legal framework that would empower the relevant agencies to effectively deal with problem.
“I therefore appeal to the National Assembly to expedite action on passing the piracy bill so that we can get the criminals out of the Gulf of Guinea,“ he said.
Peterside, nevertheless, said NIMASA was partnering with the Navy and other securities agencies to ensure effective policing of the nation`s maritime route.
The NIMASA boss said the agency had set up a surveillance system to monitor the activities of pirates, and was also expanding its capacities to get rid of the maritime criminals.
Peterside described the recent meeting of ECOWAS parliamentarians on fighting piracy in Lagos as a step in the right direction, and called for stronger collaboration by countries in the region to address the problem.