By Godwin Oritse
THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Inter Regional Coordination Centre, ICC, Yaoundé, Cameroon, have formed a partnership to galvanise regional and international efforts to counter the menace of sea pirates and general insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, GOG.
Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum, GOG-MCF/SHADE, was floated after meetings between Director General of the NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, representing Nigeria, and the Executive Director of ICC Yaoundé, Admiral Narciso Fastudo Jr.
A joint statement by NIMASA, the Nigerian Navy and ICC Yaoundé, said GOG-MCF/SHADE, which was purposed to facilitate shared awareness and de-conflict activities in the Gulf of Guinea, “will be open to all GOG countries with similar capacities to join on a voluntary basis.”
Part of the statement reads, “GOG-MCF/SHADE will focus on counter-piracy and armed robbery by bringing together regional, international, industry and NGO partners to advance and coordinate near term maritime activities with a view to working toward a set of common operational objectives in order to protect seafarers and ships operating off the coast of West and Central Africa.”
Jamoh and Fastudo agreed to hold the first virtual meeting of GOG-MCF/SHADE as soon as practicable, saying modalities would be announced later.
Commenting, Jamoh said, “The new maritime security framework speaks to our own integrated approach to security in the country’s waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
We have always believed in bringing all maritime stakeholders on board in the search for security, and we have proffered that as a solution at various forums with our regional and international partners.
“I am confident that cooperative efforts and shared capabilities are the best approach to success in our collective quest for maritime security