“Piracy is capable of crippling the nation’s economy. Since shipping largely contributes to the growth of any economy, the economy cannot thrive where piracy activities are carried out,” Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, has said.
While receiving the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, who was on a courtesy visit to the agency’s headquarters in Lagos recently, Akpobolokemi said NIMASA owed the international community the obligation of ensuring the safety of their vessels, crew and cargo in order to foster shipping trade between Nigeria and the rest of the world.
While commending the Nigerian Navy for supporting NIMASA in the fight against criminal activities on the nation’s territorial waters; Akpobolokemi reiterated the commitment of his agency to the fight against piracy, development of human capital and the safety of vessels. He also said that removal of wrecks, and prevention and mitigation of the effects of pollution, geared towards the growth and development of the maritime sector will continue to enjoy his priority attention.
Akpobolokemi commended the Navy for sustaining its partnership with NIMASA, describing both institutions as “partners in progress.”
The importance of the Navy to the development of the nation’s maritime sector, he said, cannot be overemphasized.
He was full of praises for the high command of the Nigerian Navy for creating a Central Naval Command (CNC) situated in Bayelsa State with mandate to stamp out criminal activities in the waters of the Niger Delta region. He expressed confidence that the CNC’s activities will checkmate all forms of illegalities in the maritime space of its coverage area.
Rear Admiral Alade had earlier in his speech commended NIMASA for its determined effort aimed at curbing piracy on the nation’s territorial waters.
He noted the apex maritime regulatory agency’s commitment to human capacity development in the maritime industry which he said has also been extended to naval personnel working in the Maritime Guard Command of the agency.
“The Nigerian Navy will ensure that the partnership between it and NIMASA grows from strength to strength and will continue to work hard to ensure that the nation’s maritime sector is more attractive and business friendly to potential investors,” Alade said.