Nigeria to strengthen maritime security

Ben Adam Shemang, Abuja

President Buhari gave the assurance that he would do all at his disposal to ensure safety of seafarers.

Nigeria will team up with other countries to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

President Muhammadu Buhari made the pledge when he received the Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Ambassador Florentina Ukonga at State House in Abuja, on Thursday.

The President said that the Commission was of strategic importance, as most of the crude oil stolen from Nigeria was taken through the Gulf of Guinea.

“That region, between Senegal and Angola, affects our financial and physical security as a country. Nigeria will, therefore, meet all its obligations to the Gulf of Guinea Commission and also encourage other member countries to do the same,” the President stated.

“This administration will do its best to strengthen maritime security. The rejuvenation of the Gulf of Guinea Commission is vital and Nigeria will participate more effectively because of the security implications,” he added.

Ambassador Ukonga noted that the Commission was established in 2001 to tackle piracy, unregulated fishing, drugs and human trafficking and environmental pollution, among others.

The Gulf of Guinea Commission, with headquarters in Luanda, Angola, also generates awareness among member States on the need to maintain security in their territorial waters.

“We have been giving the bad guys in maritime a run for their money,” Ambassador Ukonga said.

The Commission has eight countries as members from West and Central Africa, with an intention to admit more countries soon.