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NIMASA promotes anti-piracy efforts in Gulf of Guinea

One of the attack boats under Nigeria's deep blue project

Eyewitness News

Of all the 20 African countries which border the Gulf of Guinea, Nigeria is unarguably the only country at the forefront to restore security to the notoriously troubled region.
The country has consistently committed huge resources and engaged in strategic partnerships with foreign countries in a bid to decimate pirate attacks in the region.
The most ambitious of such commitment was the multi-million dollars deep blue project which was launched and deployed in June 2021 aimed at keeping the Nigerian territorial waters safe and by extension, to keep the dare-devil pirates at bay from the Gulf of Guinea.
In addition, the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the lead government agency in charge of maritime safety and security in the country, has also embarked on an international campaign to sell the efforts of the Federal government in the Gulf of Guinea.
One of such several efforts to sell to the international community the gradual declining activities of pirates in the Gulf of Guinea was by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh at an international round table entitled “Seafarers and Maritime Capacity at the Core of Africa’s Shipping Future,” where he highlighted recent declines both in kidnappings and attacks on ships at anchor in the country.
This campaign was part of measures by the Nigerian authorities  to highlight the decline of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea as they work to rehabilitate the reputation of the region and attract new investments.
The Nigerian government was promoting the overall decline in activity while saying that it was also working to expand the efforts and further involve forces ranging from the police to the navy to continue the progress.
“There has been a decline in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, as the region recorded 28 incidents of piracy and armed robbery in the first nine months of 2021, in comparison to 46 for the same period in 2020,” Jamoh said during his presentation.

“Crew kidnappings in the region have dropped with only one crew member kidnapped in Q3 2021, compared to 31 crew members taken in five separate incidents during Q3 2020.”

However, stakeholders said these presentations highlighting the decline in kidnappings, came as details continued to filter out on the latest incident involving a containership in the region.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland provided some of the first official details following reports by the security services and a brief statement from the Danish Foreign Ministry.

The Polish Ministry confirmed that one of the six individuals taken was a Polish citizen and said it was working on the return of their seafarer.

The incident took place on December 13, but there was some confusion on the exact number of people involved as some crew members were thought to be hiding on the containership.

The containership, the Greek-owned Tonsberg, is a 5,551 TEU vessel operating under charter to CMA CGM and is registered in Liberia.
It is believed that six crew members were kidnapped and a seventh received a gunshot wound and was being treated aboard a Danish frigate.

Dryad reported that this latest incident brought the total to 10 incidents with 76 crew abducted this year.

Speaking at the conference, Nigeria officials cited the economic impact as well as environmental pollution from the piracy activity. They admitted that the attacks were taking place in anchorages and various parts of the country, but said they were meeting with the police to better coordinate efforts with the Navy.

“It impacted the seafarers and shipping economically such as loss of revenue due to illegal activities, high insurance premium, a threat to commerce, socially such as arm and drug smuggling, and kidnapping,” they said during the presentation but promised that they were committed to continuing the progress cited by Jamoh.

The NIMASA boss however disclosed that various interventions had been introduced to address the situation, including passage of new legislation and review of local laws.

In June 2021, Nigeria launched a coordinated programme known as Deep Blue which was outfitted with a broad range of equipment to combat piracy both at the bases as well as in the country’s territorial waters.

International forces are seeking to supplement the effort, but as the Danes highlighted in the recent incident, they were barred from following the pirates with the kidnapped crew when they entered territorial waters.

Concerned stakeholders however warned that the Nigerian government should not concede the initiatives in the fight against pirates in the Gulf of Guinea to the foreign powers as the case seems to be at the present.
They advised that the fight should be a joint efforts with the Nigeria Navy and other local forces to earn Nigeria the deserved respect in the international community.
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Customs

WCO commends Adeniyi for transformational leadership of Customs 

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has received a commendation from the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) East and Southern Africa for its exceptional performance under the leadership of Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.
In a letter of commendation signed by WCO Director Larry Liza, the organisation hailed the NCS’s remarkable 74% growth in revenue over the past year, marking a significant milestone in customs administration.
“We extend our warmest congratulations to Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi and the Nigeria Customs Service for achieving a 74% growth in revenue in the last year. This outstanding feat has not gone unnoticed and stands as a testament to your dedication and effective leadership,” stated Larry Liza.
 Despite challenging security conditions, The WCO highlighted the NCS’s exemplary achievements across various fronts, including revenue collection, trade facilitation, societal protection, and stakeholder collaboration.
 “Under Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s guidance, the Nigeria Customs Service has demonstrated commendable resilience and innovation, particularly in streamlining operations and enforcing critical directives for the benefit of the nation,” remarked Larry Liza.
“We applaud the NCS’s proactive measures against smuggling and other illicit activities, which have reinforced border security and contributed to Nigeria’s economic stability.”
“We continue to draw inspiration from Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s leadership, which transcends borders and exemplifies excellence in customs management. Our congratulations extend to his team, stakeholders, and the entire nation of Nigeria,” added Larry Liza.
The WCO’s recognition underscores the global impact of Nigeria’s Customs reforms and reinforces its commitment to learning from and supporting successful strategies in customs administration under CG Adewale Adeniyi’s leadership.
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Headlines

CIoTA seeks collaboration with NIMASA, pays homage to Mobereola.

Dayo Mobereola, NIMASA DG

Funso Olojo 

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr. Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

On his part, the DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship of the institute.

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Customs

Tin Can Customs generates N575.5bn in six month

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tincan Island Port Command (TIPC) has generated N575.5 billion in revenue in the first half of the year 2024.
The Customs Area Controller, TIPC, Comptroller Dera Nnadi said this at a media conference held at the Maritime Reporter Association of Nigeria (MARAN) secretariat in Apapa, Lagos.
According to Nnadi, this is an improvement by N315.24 billion and represents a 221.13 per cent increase from the half year report in 2023 which had N260.26 billion.
“As at today, July 12, the command has generated N627 billion and we have been given a target of N1.403 trillion. This shows that significant efforts have been made in the command in meeting the target.
“TCIP operations in the last six months significantly aligned with the statutory functions of the Service in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti-smuggling activities.
“The command’s operations were performed in consciousness of the theme of the 2024 International Customs Day, ‘‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose’.
“The command further enhanced the existing operational process to conform to the malady of the floating exchange rate regime with the use of technology made available by the NICIS II Software,” he said.
On enforcement, Nnadi noted that the command coordinated several 100 per cent physical examination under his supervision in collaboration with critical stakeholders to ensure that the command was freed of any form of non-compliance to the international trade cycle.
“Items discovered as concealments and seized during the period under review are one RZ17HD – 20P9964 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9962 – rifle, one GAMO – T660739 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830249 – rifle, one RZ17TACTICAL – 30H21PT011992 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9929 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830253 – rifle.
“Others  are one pump action – MV0830839 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P10115 – rifle, one pump action – V1690019 – rifle, one pump action – 52-H21PT – 3803 – rifle, one  RZ17HD – 20P9951 – rifle, one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BV63826 – pistol, one RUGER AMERICAN PISTOL 9MM.
“Others listed: one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BU51078 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADA 799424 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADC 122309 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADB 941276 – pistol.
“Also intercepted are one used Toyota Corolla Chassis Number: 5YFBURH1EP09601: 2014 model, Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 32 grams – 10packs of 25 pieces each), Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 30 grams – 20packs of 25 pieces each and 23 extra pieces).
“Included in the list are Seller & Bellot  Buck Shot – 55 pieces, Crossman Co2 12 gram cartridges – 123 pieces, 1USP CO2 Air Gun Pistol with Accessories Cal. 117 (4.5mm) BB, units of Mace Pepper Gun, to Department of State Services (DSS) for further agency function,” he said.
He said that during the period under review three plastic drums were intercepted concealed with several packets of Cannabis Indica, 46 bags containing 2,144 packets of cannabis indica all weighing 1,072kg seized from 1x40ft Container No. GAOU 669921/5 imported from Canada.
“The approximate street value of   the illicit substances is N3.216 billion.
“Also, 877 cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine – 200 bottles of 100ml per carton and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets – 600 packs per carton imported from India was seized.
“The approximate street value of the cough syrup is N964.33 million,” he said.
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