From Anthony Nwachukwu, Lagos
Dissatisfied with the “exaggerated reports” of incidences on Nigeria’s waterways, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has urged the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) to ensure fairness and balance in its report of piracy on the nation’s territorial waters.
Peterside, who hosted a delegation of the International Maritime Security Operations Team (IMSOT) from the United Kingdom on a working visit to NIMASA, regretted that even the slightest crimes in the Nigerian creeks and habours were often reported as piracy by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.
According to him, the bureau’s distortion of facts in the coverage of Nigeria could cause reputational damage to the country within the international community, a statement by the NIMASA Head of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isichei Osamgbi, noted.
He urged the IMB to “report Nigeria appropriately and appreciate the efforts we are making to curtail security incidences within our maritime space. It is in our laws and we are strengthening investment in intelligence, maritime security and safety, and also regional collaboration, among other efforts being made”.
On his part, the IMSOT team leader, Leigh Smith, commended NIMASA’s efforts to maintain security on the country’s territorial waters and high sea, and urged continuous collaboration in technology and information sharing. He further pledged that IMSOT will work together with NIMASA and share knowledge to ensure security in the global maritime space.
The NIMASA chief also inaugurated the International Ships and Ports Facility Security (ISPS) Code Implementation Committee (ICIC), urging members to ensure a remarkable difference in the next one year through their actions, rules and regulations set, and collaboration with stakeholders.
“I trust that you will give your best to this assignment; it is about the reputation of our country, our sector, our ports, the shipping companies, those who do business with us and our stand in the face of the international community,” he said.