Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, says a robust collection of international maritime security stakeholders have confirmed their attendance at the Global Maritime Security Conference (GMSC) scheduled to hold in Abuja from today to Wednesday.
The conference is organised to address pertinent security issues in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.
Speaking in Abuja weekend, Dakuku decried the scourge of maritime insecurity, especially in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said there was an urgent need for international collaboration to tackle the menace, emphasising that the conference would come up with a formal declaration on solutions to maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.
“Dealing with the issues of piracy and maritime crime requires inter-agency collaboration as well as regional collaboration between sister agencies in the participating countries,” he said.
Dakuku said eight Chiefs of Naval Staff from Africa, 16 representatives of Chiefs of Naval Staff from the continent, and representatives of Chiefs of Naval Staff from Brazil, United States, and some European countries were expected at the conference.
“So, we have full representation. We have navies from 38 countries coming for the conference, including two Rear Admirals from the United States. The global naval community is well represented at the conference. We are also bringing the Head of Liberian Coast Guard; we are bringing the heads of coast guards from 27 countries. We have clearly confirmed over 500 foreigners coming for the conference and over 2,000 persons have registered for the Global Maritime Security Conference.
“This is a tactical conference between developing countries, developed countries and high international partners to find solution to a problem that is affecting global commerce.
“Ninety per cent of commerce is conducted via seaborne trade, so whatever affects seaborne trade affects global commerce and has direct impact on development and quality of living of a people.
“At the end of the conference, we are expected to come up with the Abuja Declaration on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea, which will be a document that will be a consensus agreement of all participants regarding what needs to be done to address the deteriorating situation. There will be a defined roadmap to deal with maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea,” Dakuku, who is also Chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations (AAMA), said.