The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has commended the efforts of the Nigerian government to suppress criminal activities in Nigeria’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea.
The message was passed through the US Department of State’s Captain Brian Lisko, who stated this while on a fact-finding visit to the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) also commended the agency for the role it played in achieving a robust regional collaboration to enhance safety in the Gulf of Guinea. He said the USCG desires improved collaboration with NIMASA and relevant agencies in maintaining the momentum of the recent success that has resulted in one year of piracy-free Nigerian waters.
“We must commend the leading role which NIMASA has played in reducing piracy in the region through the deployment of its Deep Blue Project, as well as its partnership with other maritime nations. The international community has taken note of this and we wish to encourage you to keep it up. We propose that a US Coast Guard maritime advisor be deployed to Lagos, with the consent of relevant authorities. That person reports back to the coast guard and advises on deployment of technical experts and tools to assist NIMASA’s efforts,” he proposed.
Lisko further noted that the ultimate goal of the US Coast Guard is to help its partners by working hand-in-hand in port state control and maritime administration.
“As we seek to commence this endeavour, we came to Nigeria to study the maritime stakeholders – one of which is NIMASA – through its reputation and scope of responsibilities. This is foremost on our list”.
The director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh noted that the USCG had visited the agency several times in the past as a partner in progress and called for greater involvement in areas of technical co-operation and joint exercises.
“I would like to re-iterate the agency’s appreciation for all the support from the United States over the years. I have to say that your current visit is quite timely. It comes at a time when the country is attempting to diversify towards the blue economy.
“I recall that, in the past, the USCG had visited Nigeria to conduct assessment tours of the country’s numerous ports and jetties to ascertain the ISPS compliance levels. We welcome a resumption of these visits, as we believe that you will increase your technical assistance”.