The development of Africaa��s maritime sector, as well as the safety and security of in-bound and out-bound goods and services through the seas, is hinged on regional cooperation, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said.
A�A�A�Peterside made the remark during a technical workshop on a�?Prospects, Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Collaborationa�? at the sidelines of the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, United States.
A�A�A�To that end, he assured a select group of international stakeholders of renewed efforts to improve safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) based on sustainable regional cooperation, according to a statement by the NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi.
A�A�A�Represented by the Executive Director, Operations, Mr. Rotimi Fashakin, Peterside disclosed that regional collaboration efforts led to Nigeriaa��s pact with the Ghanaian Maritime Administration, among others, just as the Integrated National Security Strategy (INSS) for Nigeriaa��s maritime sector, designed to be implemented with other GoG countries.
A�A�A�He stressed that sub-Saharan Africa particularly would benefit from regional cooperation through improved participation in international shipping, thereby reversing the present insignificant international cargo freight.
A�A�A�a�?The oil and gas industry needs the maritime sector, particularly shipping, which is international in nature, to thrive,a�? Peterside said. a�?The fact that shipping is international in nature makes collaboration, particularly at the regional level, inevitable.
A�A�A�a�?This will serve as catalyst for growth in the industry and we at NIMASA have recognised this fact, thus our numerous collaborative efforts which have begun to yield fruits.a�?
A�A�A�He further informed stakeholders that the agency has established a command and control centre for enhanced situation awareness, response capability, law enforcement and regional cooperation, among others, towards an enhanced water security and by extension, the entire region.
A�A�A�Urging continuous collaboration across continents, Peterside noted improved profiling and information sharing on maritime criminality and illegality, enhanced maritime domain awareness and surface-to-air patrol capabilities, functional legal framework, and integration of national inter-agency efforts as capable of bringing solution to security-related issues in the maritime domain.