IN view of the reported incidents of insecurity in the GoG, the interconnectedness of the maritime environment and the shared responsibility for effective ocean governance and maritime security, the Federal Ministry of Transportation in conjunction with Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency and the Nigerian Navy organised a Global Maritime Security Conference, on behalf of Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea, between 7 – 9 October 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
The Conference was attended by international, continental and regional maritime institutions and stakeholders as well as representatives from over 80 nations. The 3-day Conference featured deliberations on 11 thematic panels where experts led discussions and proffered solutions options on a wide spectrum of maritime security and development issues in the region.
According to the communique signed by Dakuku Peterside, Director General/CEO of NIMASA, a number of observations were made during the conference on 4 major clusters of issues to an amenable regional maritime environment.
- The legal/policy/regulatory framework for maritime security.
- The institutional framework and capacities.
- The material, human, financial, technological and other
resources needed to enhance security in the GoG.
- The ways and means of implementing the necessary
strategies for enhanced maritime security in the region.
- In view of these observations, the Conference resolved as
- States of GoG and her international partners should give
priority attention to training and capacity building for relevant
stakeholders involved in maritime security including national
maritime authorities, law enforcement agencies and navies as
- Navies/Coast Guards and maritime law enforcement
agencies in the GoG states should engage in regular joint
maritime operations, including with international partners, to
harmonise operational procedures, training standards and
- GoG States should explore the possibility of designated
maritime courts to handle cases of sea robbery, piracy and
other maritime offences to ensure quick dispensation of cases
in addition to capacity building and sensitization of judiciary
on crucial relevant legislation.
- GoG States should put more efforts to implement various
agreed strategies at the continental, regional and national
- GoG States with the support of regional organisations
like the ECOWAS, ECCAS, ICC and relevant international
organisations should continue to ratify and fully domesticate
the provisions of the relevant international conventions
including UNCLOS 1982, SUA and Port States Measures
- GoG countries should explore alternative and innovative
sources of funding for their maritime security and law
enforcement agencies to enhance the effectiveness of their
response to maritime incidents.
- GoG States should establish repeatable, documentable
frameworks for interagency cooperation.
- GoG states are encouraged to strengthen mechanisms
and structures for engagement with the local communities,
fishing communities and seafarers including private
stakeholders for economic benefits.
- GoG States should strengthen, including funding,
national, zonal and regional maritime domain awareness
centres to enhance information sharing and coordination.
- GoG States are encouraged to sustain regular meeting of
heads of states, heads of navies/coast guards and other
maritime enforcement agencies on issues of maritime security
for mutual benefit.
- Relevant regional maritime agencies should engage
industry experts/representatives for informed policy decision
on maritime security and related issues.
- GoG States should promote strategic communications
initiative to enhance awareness on maritime security concerns
and potential benefits.
- GoG States should engage in maritime spatial planning
of coastal and urban areas to ensure that maritime security
vulnerabilities are not created particularly in proximity to
critical maritime infrastructure.
- GoG States should explore opportunities for maritime law
enforcement through targeted engagement with coastal and
fishing communities to support maritime security efforts.
- GoG States and the international community should put
mechanisms in place to ensure that resources that are illegally
harvested/explored in the GoG, including stolen oil and Illegal
Unreported and Unregulated Fishery, are intentionally banned
as was the case with the “blood diamonds”.
- Conveners of this Conference in liaison with ECOWAS,
ECCAS, ICC should constitute a GMSC expert working group to
drive the implementation and decisions arising from the
- The Honourable Minister of Transportation of Nigeria
should communicate the decisions and recommendations of
this Conference to the Presidency of Nigeria and onward to
ECOWAS, ECCAS, GGC, AU, IMO and other international partners.
-Oct 9, 2019 @19:15 GMT |