—embarks on campaign to clinch Category C slot
The Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh, is seemed determined to break the jinx that has become Nigeria’s bid to be elected into the Category C of the International Maritime Organisation(IMO) since 2009.
The country has posted a string of losses at the council elections since 2009 when it began its futile attempt to retain the seat which it last won in 2007.
The country narrowly missed the opportunity to be admitted into the elite club in 2019 when he painfully lost to Kenya by a solitary one vote.
Now that the new voting date in December beckons, NIMASA seems not to be leaving anything to chances.
Dr. Jamoh has commenced intense but strategic consultations with those who matter in IMO politics, selling Nigeria’s candidature in the December elections.
Last week, in Lisbon Portugal at the third Seminar of the Atlantic Center, Jamoh solicited the support of Nigeria’s friends to vote for the country into the council of IMO in the election that comes up as part of the organization’s 32nd General Assembly which comes up from December 6 to 15, 2021.
On the heel of the Portugal campaign trip, the campaign train of NIMASA berthed at the London Headquarters of the IMO
In London, Jamoh sought and got an exclusive audience with the IMO Secretary-General, Kitack Lim and explained Nigeria’s preparedness to be elected alongside 39 other member countries of the organization into its main decision-making organ.
He explained that Nigeria, has in recent times, intensified efforts at ensuring improved maritime security, raising safety standards on Nigerian waters in line with IMO regulations, and achieving a pollution-free marine environment.
While giving a breakdown of noteworthy efforts by the Nigerian government to address problems of maritime piracy, sea robbery, and removal of wrecks for safe navigation, Jamoh told Lim that the country’s unwavering drive has resulted in a reduction in maritime crimes in the Gulf of Guinea and its Exclusive Economic Zone.
Making specific reference to the recent third-quarter International Maritime Bureau (IMB) report, Jamoh told the IMO scribe that Nigerian waterways up to the Gulf of Guinea are presently having improved security.
On the IMB report, he said, “The report says the Gulf of Guinea recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, compared to 46 in the same period in 2020.
”What is of particular importance to us in the report is the fact that Nigeria reported only four incidents during the period, against 17 and 41 cases that were recorded in 2020 and 2018, respectively.
“The IMB report shows that crew kidnappings in the region during the period dropped to only one crew member, compared to 31 taken in five separate incidents in Q3 2020.
”It is quite remarkable that the only crew kidnapping case recorded during the period under review was against the vessel at the port of exchange, while the average successful kidnapping location during the same period in 2020 was approximately 100 nautical miles from the land” Jamoh said.
On marine environment protection, Jamoh told Lim that Nigeria has engaged marine litter marshals to monitor and ensure compliance with international standards.
He expressed appreciation to the IMO and other international partners for their support through various maritime safety and security initiatives while also pledging Nigeria’s commitment to maritime scholarly endeavours under the aegis of World Maritime University (WMU).
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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