Korea, Belgium pledge support for NIMASA •Agency committed to safe Nigerian maritime domain – Jamoh




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L-R: Consul at Lagos office of the Korean Embassy, Choi Chungsung; Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh; new Consul-General of the Korean Embassy, His Excellency, Kang Haenggu; and Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, Shehu Ahmed, during a courtesy visit by the envoys to the Director-General at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos, recently

LAGOS – South Korea and have pledged more for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency () in its drive to enhance trade and security in the Nigerian maritime domain.

The new Consul-General of the Korean Embassy, Kang Haenggu, and Ambassador Designate of , His Excellency, Daniel Bertrand, made the promise when they paid courtesy calls on the Director-General of , Dr. Bashir Jamoh, at the Agency’s headquarters in Lagos.

 

Dr. Jamoh expressed ’s determination to curb criminal attacks in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

The envoys acknowledged the security challenge in the Gulf of Guinea and promised to ’s efforts to improve security in its waters.

Addressing the South Korean and Belgian delegations at separate meetings, Dr. Jamoh said the Nigerian placed high premium on safety and security of shipping in its waters and the Gulf of Guinea, and had invested heavily in maritime security infrastructure.

 

To confront the menace of maritime criminality head-on, Dr. Jamoh said, “ has made huge investments in the establishment of a comprehensive maritime security infrastructure. The Integrated and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also called the Deep Blue Project, is designed to secure our waters, to the Gulf of Guinea.

“The project is nearing completion, with more than 80 per cent of the assets, comprising Special Mission Vessels, Fast Intervention Boats, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and Armoured Vehicles, already in the country.

 

“The and intelligence hub of the Deep Blue Project, the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i), was commissioned in August last year. The Centre is and running with round-the-clock production of needed maritime domain awareness. The C4i has helped to identify and monitor activities in the black spots, leading to arrests of many in recent times.”

Dr. Jamoh, a graduate of the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, said the training of personnel for the Deep Blue Project had commenced and would be concluded this month, ahead of the deployment of the assets by December.

The Director-General also said investigation had revealed that Somali pirates were now active in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea. He said the pirates often navigated ’s maritime boundaries, and sometimes came the land . He stated that the Maritime Intelligence Unit, recently established by NIMASA to help nip maritime crimes in the bud identification of early warning signs, had revealed a relationship between crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain and the Somali pirates.

“We discovered a correlation between crimes in our waters and the activities of the Somali pirates,” he stated, adding, “They have a means of navigating the coast of Somalia to Nigeria, through the waters of our West African neighbours. In some cases, they enter through the land and commission boats to carry out activities.”

He said Nigeria had developed an action plan to monitor the progress of its National Maritime Security Strategy, saying, “Our goal is to achieve a end to criminal attacks in our territorial waters.”

Jamoh called for South Korean and Belgian investments in the Nigerian maritime industry, particularly in the areas of wreck removal and shipbuilding, as well as assistance in the training and certification of Nigerian seafarers.

Haenggu and Bertrand, in separate submissions, pledged determination to improve ties between respective countries and Nigeria in shipping and maritime security. Haenggu hailed the “strong working relationship” between the Korean Embassy and NIMASA, saying he looks forward to continuing it. And Bertrand said his priority was to promote commerce between his country and Nigeria.

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