The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo has said the collaborative efforts between the Nigerian Navy and the European Union is enhancing international maritime affairs.
He said the effort was coming at a time Nigeria was making concerted efforts to develop its blue economy.
The Navy boss, who spoke in Lagos on the occasion of the joint Nigerian-European Union Collaborative programme at the Western Command, Lagos, said, “A secured maritime environment is a contributing factor to the economic prosperity of nations the world over. The struggle against maritime insecurity is a collaborative effort that no single country or region can tackle alone.”
He said maritime security was critical to global economic prosperity, pointing out that it is for this reason that “ECOWAS, in conjunction with the Economic Community of Central African States, formulated the Yaoundé Code of Conduct as a foundation for broad-based regional maritime security along the entire Gulf of Guinea.”
He described the Gulf of Guinea as attracting global attention for its maritime role and needed adequate security.
“The Gulf of Guinea itself is a vast and diverse region stretching from Senegal to Angola covering approximately 2,874nm of coastline. It is an important shipping zone transporting oil and gas as well as goods to and from Africa and the rest of the world. On any one day there are about 1500 tankers, cargo ships and fishing vessels navigating its waters.
“Regrettably, piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping of seafarers, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, smuggling, trafficking and transnational organized crimes pose a major threat to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea,” Gambo said.
According to him, “Maritime insecurity has long been one of the most persistent and intractable threats to maritime communities and economic prosperity in West Africa. Importantly, concerted efforts in the form of synergy should be maintained to curb these maritime crimes.