By: Joy Enamuna
The Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) is set to hold its inaugural maritime security summit; MARAN Annual Maritime Lecture (MAMAL 2023)
The association is worried about the resurgence of maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea, questioning the effectiveness of regional effort; GoG-MCF/SHADE, launched by ICC Yaoundé and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in 2021.
The association would also use the summit to gather maritime stakeholders to evaluate the Federal Government’s investment of $195Million in a Maritime Security Contract called, Deep Blue Project, anchored by NIMASA.
In a press statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, MARAN informed stakeholders that the MAMAL 2023 which was earlier scheduled to hold on 24th of October 2023 has now been shifted to hold on 21st November 2023
The association observed that despite the acclaimed successes of the $195million NIMASA Deep Blue Project, there was no meaningful impact on shipping and freight costs because the situation remains uncertain, and the Joint War Risk Committee still classifies Nigerian waters as a war risk zone.
Notwithstanding the regional collaboration effort, GoG-MCF/SHADE, there has been a resurgence of pirate attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, the most recent being an attack on a Marshall Islands-flagged MT Nyon.
The attack which occured 16 nautical miles south of Conakry, Guinea on June 22nd, 2023, left several crew members with minor injuries.
The inaugural edition of MAMAL 2023 is themed: “Maritime Security: Emerging Threats and Actionable Steps”
The theme is targeted at proffering long-term, sustainable solutions that will effectively address maritime crimes in the GoG region and protect seafaring and fishing communities in the affected countries.
MARAN soughts to clarify why criminality on Nigerian waterways increases in November and December of every year. It has been observed that in the festive season, people resort to crime to ensure they can take care of their families over the holiday season.
The Nigerian Navy, regional navies and other stakeholders in maritime sector including Shipowners, NIMASA, Shipping Lines, Terminal Operators, Nigerian Shippers Council, major seafarers organisations are all expected to attend the event.