Safety agency pushes for passage of anti piracy law

Margaret Ulanmo, Lagos

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has expressed the Agency’s desire to work with other stakeholders and expedite action on the passage of the Anti-Piracy and Other related Crimes at Sea into law.

The DG who stated this at a four-day workshop organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the United States Government which held in Lagos recently, explained that the bill is necessary to provide the requisite framework for the fight, prosecution and punishment of piracy and related maritime crimes in Nigeria.

Dr. Peterside called on participants to do a thorough job so as to ensure early passage into law when presented to the National Assembly as it will reduce the legislative input that may cause delays.

He assured participants and maritime stakeholders that the Agency would collaborate with the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Justice and all relevant stakeholders to ensure early conclusion of work on the draft bill and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly for enactment.

Mr. GuiseppeSernia and Philip Drew, both of the UNODC were facilitators at the workshop where it was agreed that the Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA will meet again to fine tune the draft anti-piracy bill before sending it to the Ministry of Transportation for presentation to the Federal Executive Council and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly.

The workshop which focused on developing a robust anti-piracy bill aimed at dealing with piracy and other related maritime crimes had in attendance Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, prosecutors from the Directorate of Public Prosecution of the Ministry of Justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as officials from the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA.

The Anti-Piracy bill which is an initiative of NIMASA was conceived to incorporate the Safety of Life at Sea and the Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea, conventions of the International Maritime Organisation into a comprehensive legislation to deal with the menace of piracy and related crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain.

Confidence .O.