GOG forum gears towards improved regional Navy cooperation for enhanced security
The Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum and Shared Awareness and De-confliction Conference (GOG-MCF/SHADE) has identified cooperation at sea between regional and international Navies as focus at its inaugural plenary.
This was disclosed in a joint communiqué signed by the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé, dated Sunday, June 11, 2021.
According to the communique, the conference is scheduled to take place in July.
“The online meeting will be hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana, and will be by invitation of the SHADE Co-chairs, the ICC and the Nigerian Navy.
“There will be two sessions at the meeting.
“The morning session, which will formally open the historic plenary and include welcome addresses by regional and international dignitaries.
“The second session in which the plenary co-chairs would set the vision and plan for what GOG-MCF/SHADE will seek to accomplish,” it said.
The ICC Yaoundé and Nigeria noted that the meeting was to produce meaningful actions and measures that translated to a significant increase in the cooperation at sea between regional and international navies, the international shipping industry and the maritime stakeholders in the GOG.
It said that these actions would be delivered by three working groups.
“The Cooperation at Sea (Operations), Reporting and Information Sharing, and Air De-Confliction, with each working group chaired by a regional representative and supported by a Subject Matter Expert.
“The maiden GOG-MCF/SHADE plenary will be an invitation-only working meeting.
“It will initially focus on implementing the framework by bringing together stakeholders who have committed to tackling piracy and armed robbery at sea in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The co-chairs will provide a full report of the activities of the forum on an ongoing basis and consequently review and adapt the meeting as required to achieve its intended goals.
“Nigeria and the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé recently floated the GOG-MCF/SHADE following discussions between the Director-General of NIMASA, representing Nigeria and Executive Director of ICC Yaoundé, Admiral Narciso Fastudo Jr.
“The forum aims to galvanise regional and international efforts for security in the Gulf of Guinea,” it said.
Traffic gridlock returns to Apapa port as Federal government closes Total bridge for maintainance works
“Given the impact the closure will have on Port users, the Authority in partnership with LASTMA, Police, FRSC, and the Nigerian Navy have worked out alternative routes and are on the ground to manage the traffic situation in the affected areas.
“The Authority wishes to solicit the understanding and cooperation of all stakeholders as we continue to support measures to mitigate the temporary disruptions, the NPA pleaded.
NIMASA collaborates with NCC to regulate submarine cable operation for enhanced navigational safety on Nigerian waters
The eyewitness reporter
Apparently alarmed by the indiscriminate laying of communication cables and pipelines underneath the Nigerian waters by telecommunications operators and other allied professionals which has the potential of harming the safe navigation of ships, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA) has engaged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in a strategic discussion to forge a formidable synergy with other relevant stakeholders with a view to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria.
Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.
The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of Doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated.
He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.
According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters.
“Our focus is to ensure the safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.
“NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation.
“Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen, noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation, urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.
Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.
NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS.
NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.
Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.
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