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Nigeria Spearheads Onslaught Against  Maritime Threats In The Gulf of Guinea.

Funso Olojo         
Nigeria has taken up the gauntlet against the security threats in the Gulf of Guinea.
The Gulf of Guinea is one of the most dangerous gulfs in the world because of the widespread piracy that has affected a number of countries in West Africa, including Nigeria and the larger international community.
Geographically speaking, Gulf of Guinea is made up of the maritime area located in the Western part of African Continent and is bordered  by eight countries around the Atlantic Ocean.
They include Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria,  Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea,  Gabon, Sao Tome and Principe while Angola and Togo are new entrants.
As a result of economic importance of the Gulf of Guinea  to the world economy as a result of its large deposits of hydrocarbons and other natural resources, there are lots of criminal activities in the area such as piracy, illegal migration,  arm trafficking,  narco-trafficking and marine pollution.
Because of the location of Nigeria within the Gulf of Guinea and as the country with the largest maritime potentials among the other countries bordering the area, the criminals activities going on in this region naturally creep into the territorial waters of the country.
This has therefore given Nigerian waters a notoriety for being one of the most dangerous in the world.
The activities of these criminals in the Gulf of Guinea have affected the rating of the country’s maritime environment as well as maritime trade in the country.
Apparently miffed by  the direct consequences which the criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea have on its maritime environment, Nigeria has now taken it upon itself to rally international onslaught against the criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
As a result , Nigeria is hosting a three-day  high level  Global Maritime Security Conference in Abuja from October 7th-9th, 2019.
The conference, which is expected to be facilitated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA) under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and supported by the Nigerian Navy, is meant  to facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region and develop tailored solutions as well as coordinate efforts at strengthening regional and international collaborations to extinguish maritime threats in the region.

The host of the conference is aware that to realise the potentials of blue economy, there is a need for African States to effectively deal with significant challenges including the multi-faceted crimes going  on in the Gulf of Guinea.

This is because all the littoral and hinterland countries bordering the Gulf of Guinea are critically dependent on import and export trade, hence the need to ensure maritime security over the area.
Furthermore, given the fact that maritime insecurity has economic, social, political and environmental implications globally, the conference therefore hopes to  define the precise nature and scope of coordinated regional responses to maritime insecurity vis-à-vis intervention supports from external actors/partners.
The conference will also evaluate the relevance and impacts of the various interventions initiated already to tackle maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea with a view to revising and adapting them to address the current challenges.
It also seeks to decisively move towards policy harmonization and effective implementation through regional integration and cooperation as principal method for delivering effective and efficient security in the region.

”In addition to tackling threats to maritime security, the conference will also strategize alternative approach to prevent cyber security attack and other forms of emerging maritime security threats.

“It will also advocate for deeper global commitment to deployment of resources for ending maritime insecurity within the region timeously” the conference organisers declared.

Due to the fact that maritime security issue features prominently on the agenda of international and national discourse on sustainable development, particularly the use of oceans and seas, the conference will employ
Intensive and interactive sessions designed to expand, address and deliver a workable framework that tackles key issues around the safety  of waterways.
The Global Maritime Security Conference is expected to be attended by relevant government ministries and agencies, Navy and Coast Guards, regulatory bodies, maritime Lawyers and Professionals.
Others are Insurance firms, Banks and Finance Sector, Oil and Gas sector, high level Industry Practitioners, Ship Owners and Charterers, National Ship Owners / Charterers and Oil Companies, Chief Executives and Trade Executives.
Also expected at the  conference are classification Societies, Industry stakeholders and professionals, Consultancy and Industry Experts, International, Continental and Regional Bodies, Shipping logistics, Ship Brokery , Ship Managers and Agents, Support services, Marine Support Services, Foreign Missions and Diplomats, Policy Makers and Research Institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations

© 2019, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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