The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that statistics released by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), showed that piracy incidents in Gulf of Guinea dropped from 81 in year 2020 to 34 in 2021.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, made this known in a statement in Lagos, on Sunday, signed by Mr Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA.
According to Jamoh, this represented a 58.02 per cent drop.
“This is not by accident, but a product of conscious collaborative efforts by the Agency, the Nigerian Navy and other stakeholders in the region.
“The IMB report also showed a 62 per cent decrease in the number of crew kidnapping incidents in the Gulf of Guinea, from 150 in 2020 to 57 in 2021,” he said.
Jamoh added that the agency was committed to continuous collaboration with stakeholders, to ensure that Nigeria attained the status of not only the hub of maritime activities in the West and Central Africa region, but also a major maritime player globally.
Commenting on statutory levies paid by stakeholders to the Federal Government through the Agency, Jamoh reaffirmed that NIMASA levies were in accordance with the provisions of the Act that set up the Agency.
“The NIMASA Act 2007, which is our guiding principle, only states that our charges must be a component of the gross freight and must be paid by shipowners not in terms of product to marketers or any other entity” the DG said.
The NIMASA Chief Executive said that all the payments either in hard currency or naira, were made into the Treasury Single Account of the Federal Government.
He added that in the long run it was for the benefit of all Nigerians that the country does not further lose any revenues through underpayment in statutory charges or levies.
Commenting on the recent explosion which occurred on Trinity Spirit Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO), the NIMASA DG described the incident as unfortunate.
“ NIMASA team is working with other relevant organs of government to establish the immediate and remote causes of the fire explosion.
“Issue of environmental pollution was highlighted in the preliminary report and the Agency will work with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), through the use of the International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) funds for compensation on all the losses, within and around the facility.
“The public would be informed of every detail concerning the incident as the situation unfolds,” he said.
Jamoh also pointed out some of the achievements of the Agency in the year 2021 included improved contributions to the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government, from 31 billion in 2020 to about 37 billion in year 2021.
“Increase of 43.6 per cent in condition survey for Flag Registration by the Agency in year 2021 as against the performance in year 2020; reactivation of the online certificate verification platform to reduce falsification of Nigerian Seafarers Certificates and enhanced employment of Nigerian Seafarers.
“Improved strategic collaboration with the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Airforce, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Army and the office of the National Security Adviser, a move, which helped to reduce piracy attacks off the coast of the Gulf of Guinea,” he said.
He noted that there were no single attacks on Nigerian waters in the third quarter of 2021, as reported by the International Maritime Bureau.