1st July, 2011
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, has said that the militarisation of commercial shipping is not acceptable in any member nation of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
The DG Â who said this while recieving a delegation from the United States of America led by the Director, Commercial Regulations and Standards of the United States Coast Guard, Mr. Jeffrey Lantz, Â noted that the Maritime Security Bill which is currently before the National Assembly will be inimical to the growth of the Nigerian Maritime sector if passed into law.
According to him, â€œ Militarisation of commercial shipping which is the main thrust of this MASECA Bill is not acceptable any where in the world. We want the IMO to step up its information machinery to educate policy makers among member nations on acceptable practices internationally. The Maritime Guard Command here in NIMASA is already doing a lot as it relates to improving security on our coastal waters and all they need is more encouragement rather than duplication of goverment parastatalsâ€.
The DG disclosed that the rate of armed banditry and piracy on the Lagos Channel have dropped since the deployment of patrol boats by the NIMASA domiciled Maritime Guard Command.
Commenting on the comming elections in the IMO, Akpobolokemi told Mr Lantz, who is contesting for the position of Secretary General of the organization,Â that the IMO needs to improve on its value to member nations, especially in the developing countries.