Nigeria removed from IBF unsafe water list

Pirates attack tanker off West Africa


Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries designated as navigation risk by the International Bargaining Forum (IBF).

IBF, which is a body that brings together the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the international maritime employers that make up the joint negotiating group listed five designated risk areas and applicable benefits in the event of attacks leading to deaths and disability, mentioning the Gulf of Guinea as second extended war risk zone covering Liberia/Ivory Coast border to 00°N 005°E, to the Angola/ Namibia border.

Making this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said that Nigeria’s exit from the list was as a result of improved naval operations in Nigeria’s maritime domain and enhanced security architecture in the country’s sea lanes.

“With the removal of the tag, insurance premium to be paid by ships doing business with, or plying Nigerian sea lanes will become normal insurance paid by other countries which are less expensive and will enhance shipping/cargo trade,” Gambo said.

Also speaking, the Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, said, “This achievement is a product of a well-structured multimodal policy which has been implemented over the years to fight piracy and other criminalities in Nigerian waters.

“The legal instrument called SPOMO Act signed into law by President Buhari in 2019, the full implementation of the Deep Blue Project by NIMASA, expanded assets and capacity of the Nigerian Navy, enhanced cooperation between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, and the regional collaborative efforts under the umbrella of SHADE Gulf of Guinea midwifed by NIMASA, are all policies of the current administration and the benefits are gradually coming to fruition. We are focused on ultimately improving and reducing the cost of commercial shipping in Nigeria.”

The 2023 IBF list called for double compensation for seafarers who died or suffered disability when their vessels were attacked in the Gulf of Guinea.

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