As part of efforts to secure maritime assets and trade in the Gulf of Guinea region, Norwegian government has deepened its collaboration with Nigeria to beef up maritime security and prevent resurgence of piracy attacks.
Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anniken Huitfeldt, engaged the leadership of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) yesterday where she disclosed that safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea is very dear to her government.
Huitfeldt, during her visit to the NIMASA Resource Center in Kirikiri, Lagos, commended Nigeria for her role in combating maritime insecurity of Gulf of Guinea, while reassuring that Norway will continue to give its support to Nigeria in the fight against piracy in the region.
She, however, linked the relative peace and security in the erstwhile troubled region to the dedication and commitment of Nigeria and NIMASA.
The Norwegian Minister also stated that Nigeria is one of the respected maritime partners of Norway, adding that Nigeria’s leadership role in the Gulf of Guinea is appreciated by her government.
“Norway has contributed to maritime development in Nigeria through capacity training and has also rendered economic assistance through the United Nations towards enhancement of maritime safety” she said.
The Minister visited the facilities at the NIMASA Resource Centre where she and her entourage were shown a practical demonstration of the quality of safety equipment at the C4i centre.
Huitfeldt also embarked on the visit with some Norway ship owners who are expected to look into business and investment opportunities in Nigeria’s vast maritime industry.
On his part, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, conducted his guests around the facilities at the Agency’s Resource Centre and lectured them on the functions, duties and responsibilities of the agency as a leading maritime administration in West Africa.
He pledged to ensure safety of vessels and seafarers that ply the nation’s waters and by extension the Gulf of Guinea with its deep blue asset for combating maritime crimes.
Jamoh observed that most Nigerian ship owners move their vessels to other neighboring countries such as Togo, Republic of Benin and Ghana and for drydocking and ship repair, thereby limiting the benefits of the blue economy initiative.
“There is a huge demand for ship repairs in the country. NIMASA welcomes partnership with Norway to exploit and develop shipbuilding and repairs industry in the country,” he posited.
Jamoh disclosed that the agency’s N50 million floating dock, when finally deployed, will generate a whooping sum of N1 billion monthly.
The NIMASA boss told his Norwegian team that the agency is desirous of partnering with the European country to exploit the huge market in ship repairs industry.
Norway is reputed to be the 5th largest shipbuilding nation in the world and has 89 ports.