The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has lauded Nigeria for playing a leading role in efforts to secure the Gulf of Guinea, saying it will continue to support the country and the region.
The IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim said the West African nation had made important contributions to the fight against piracy and armed robbery in the Gulf of Guinea maritime domain.
IMO is the specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.
“I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the Nigerian government for its continued contribution toward the endeavors to ensure safe and secure maritime operation in the Gulf of Guinea,” Lim said in his message to Nigeria on Sunday.
He said such actions had helped the work of seafarers and improved shipping in the region while keeping at bay illicit maritime activities.
Lim praised Nigeria’s determination to galvanize regional and international energies to rid the country’s waters and the Gulf of Guinea of threats to shipping.
Lim said the launch of the Deep Blue project marked a major development in the world to avert piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and acknowledged the need for more collaboration and contribution to the anti-piracy war.
“There is still more work ahead for all of us. The world is watching and we must ensure we succeed in our objective to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea region,” he said.
He said IMO remained committed to supporting the region in its efforts to ensure maritime security.
The International Maritime Bureau in its latest quarterly report on maritime piracy declared that the Gulf of Guinea has continued to be dangerous for seafarers, accounting for nearly half of all reported piracy incidents in the first quarter of 2021.
It noted that while the number of reported piracy attacks against commercial shipping declined in 2021, violence against crew is on the rise with the Gulf of Guinea remaining the world’s piracy hotspot in 2021. Enditem