The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside, has called on the International Maritime Bureau, IMB, to ensure fairness and balance in its reportage of piracy issues on nation’s territorial waters.
Dakuku expressed displeasure at exaggerated reports on incidences on the country’s waterways by the IMB.
The IMB is a specialized department of the International Chamber of Commerce, ICC, dedicated to fighting maritime crime and malpractice.
The NIMASA helmsman made the assertion in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, when a delegation of the International Maritime Security Operations Team (IMSOT) from the United Kingdom paid a working visit to the Agency.
He bemoaned the distortion of facts in the coverage of Nigeria by the Bureau, saying such distortions can do reputational damage to the country within the international community.
A statement signed by Head, Corporate Communications, Isichei Osamgbi, noted that the NIMASA boss observed that even the slightest crime in the creeks and habours of Nigeria were often reported as piracy by the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre.
He listed some measures being embarked upon by NIMASA to curb piracy to include investing in the satellite surveillance system, which has the capacity to view all vessels on the country’s waterways; supporting the security agencies to acquire assets that will enable them fight piracy and other maritime crimes; and proposing an anti-piracy bill that will give the Agency the authority to prosecute maritime related crimes, when it becomes law, among others.
In his own remarks, the IMSOT team leader, Leigh Smith, commended NIMASA for its efforts to maintain security on the country’s territorial waters and high sea. He urged continuous collaboration in the areas of technology and information-sharing.