Nigeria: Buhari - Nigeria Secures 10 Maritime Crimes Convictions in Two Years

President Muhammadu Buhari (file photo).
10 June 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday disclosed that Nigeria has secured 10 convictions for various maritime offences since he signed into law the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act in June 2019.

Speaking at the official flag-off of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure in Nigeria also known as the Deep Blue Project at the ENL Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos, President Buhari in a release issued by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, said: "I am confident that the project, which provides a robust maritime security architecture, will enhance maritime domain awareness capability and improve law enforcement action, particularly in the prosecution of suspects under the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act which I signed into law in June 2019.

"This flag-off is an important step in the continuing shift in strategic action about regional maritime security. It will serve as a benchmark for member states in the Gulf of Guinea and other relevant stakeholders to further develop innovative strategies and align efforts with the subsisting framework to improve maritime security in the region."

Calling for greater collaborations among countries in the Gulf of Guinea to secure Nigeria's waters and beyond, President Buhari noted that the assemblage of the new maritime security assets was coming at a critical time when global discussions are centred on piracy activities and the new dimension it has taken in the region.

According to him, "With the world's waters accounting for over 80% of transportation requirements of the global economy, concerted efforts and innovative actions are required to address attendant security challenges.

"Therefore, the flag-off of the project marks an important milestone in this regard and in our collective effort to tackle security challenges in the form of piracy and other maritime crimes in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. It is also a demonstration of government's strong commitment to ensuring security.

"This intervention, no doubt, will facilitate a conducive environment for the maritime sector to thrive and contribute to the diversification of the Nigerian economy."

The president commended the Ministers of Transportation, Defence, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Director-General, NIMASA, members of the Steering Committee, the Project Management Team and all other government stakeholders who have worked together to bring this initiative of the administration to fruition.

Assuring Nigerians of government's commitment to ensure the project's sustainability, the president urged all critical stakeholders to work collectively for the greater benefit of all Nigerians, member states of the Gulf of Guinea and the global maritime community.

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