Arrangements have been concluded to host the fifth plenary of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum for the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE).
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), as the lead Agency under the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Navy in partnership with the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) Yaoundé, Cameroun, are spearheading the forum.
The GOG-MCF/SHADE 5th plenary which is scheduled to take place in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja from May 10th – 11th is themed: “Enduring and Sustainable Security” and all regional Navies amongst other international stakeholders are expected to attend.
Speaking ahead of the forum, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, identified regional co-operation as having played an important role in reducing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
He said: “The establishment of GOG-MCF/SHADE has enabled working-level stakeholders from the GoG region and outside the region to connect and discuss how best to tackle piracy in the area. We believe that this has been a catalyst for non-regional stakeholders to step up and initiate effective maritime law enforcement operations to support regional efforts.
“These collaborative initiatives and efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional Navies including the deployment of the Deep Blue Project, has been responsible for the considerable reduction in piracy incidents on Nigerian waters and the GoG region.
“It is noteworthy that the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has removed Nigeria from the global piracy list. Achieving this feat is not easy, but sustaining the status will be more challenging. Our goal is to sustain this new status of a piracy free Gulf of Guinea.
These collaborative initiatives and efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional Navies including the deployment of the Deep Blue Project, has been responsible for the considerable reduction in piracy incidents on Nigerian waters and the GoG region.
The GOG-MCF/SHADE was established by Nigeria and 22 countries of the ICC in July 2021. The goal was to implement effective operational counter-piracy cooperation amongst regional and international Navies as well as the shipping industry and reporting Centres of the Yaounde Code of Conduct (ICC) for the a Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa region.
The previous edition of the plenary held virtually in July last year, due to travel restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and was hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemisola Saraki, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo, and NIMASA’s Jamoh, are leading participants in plenary from Nigeria, while Captain Bell Bell of the ICC-Yaounde is leading the international Navies and participants to the plenary.