Nigeria has been removed from the list of countries designated as risk maritime nations by the International Bargaining Forum (IBF), a move celebrated by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as a landmark achievement.
Meanwhile the Extra War Risk Insurance (EWRI) premiums are still being collected by global insurance companies, even though it is believed that the development at IBF coupled with the tranquility on Nigerian waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region will lead to Nigeria’s removal from the War Risk Zone soonest.
According to a press statement signed by the Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, Mr. Osagie Edward, the removal from IBF unsafe waters list is another confirmation of the improved global ratings of security in Nigerian maritime domain as a result of sustained collaborative efforts of NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy.
The International Bargaining Forum, IBF, which is a body that brings together the International Transport Federation, ITF, and the international maritime employers that make up the Joint Negotiating Group, JNG, listed 5 designated risk areas and applicable benefits in the event of attacks leading to deaths and disability, mentioning the Gulf of Guinea as second extended war risk zone covering Liberia/Ivory Coast border to 00°N 005°E, to the Angola/ Namibia border.
NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, while reacting to the IBF report described it as a landmark achievement under the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
His words: “This achievement is a product of a well-structured multimodal policy which has been implemented over the years to fight piracy and other criminalities in Nigerian Waters. The Legal instrument called SPOMO Act signed into Law by President Buhari in 2019, the full implementation of the Deep Blue Project by NIMASA, expanded assets and capacity of the Nigerian Navy, enhanced cooperation between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy, and the regional collaborative efforts under the umbrella of SHADE Gulf of Guinea midwived by NIMASA, are all policies of the current administration and the benefits are gradually coming to fruition. We are focused on ultimately improving and reducing the cost of commercial shipping in Nigeria”
Notable maritime institutions like the International Maritime Bureau, IMB, and the International Maritime Organisation, IMO, have lauded the reduction in piracy in Nigeria following enhanced patrol and relevant Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered by NIMASA with other security agencies.
The 2023 IBF list called for double compensation for seafarers who die or suffer disability on the date of attack on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea.
News Diet recalls that across the West African coast, pirate attacks gave rise to the Joint War Committee (JWC) of Lloyds’ of London. JWC pronounced the area from the limit of Togo and Benin republic maritime boundaries all the way along the gulf of Guinea to the maritime boundary of the republic of Nigeria and Cameroon as a ‘War Risk Zone’.
The effect of JWC’s action was that the foreign mother vessels which are usually insured by the Protection and Indemnity club would not risk going into the ‘war risk’ areas because the moment they transgress, their insurance premium increases by more than five times.