The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has said that the Federal Government secured 10 convictions for various maritime offences since the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act was signed into law in June 2019.
He said this in Lagos on Thursday at the inauguration of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure in Nigeria (also called the Deep Blue Project) at the ENL Terminal, Apapa Port, Lagos.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, titled ‘Maritime Crimes: Nigeria secures 10 convictions in two years as President Buhari inaugurates new security assets to combat piracy’.
He said, ‘‘I am confident that the project, which provides a robust maritime security architecture, will enhance maritime domain awareness capability and improve law enforcement action, particularly in the prosecution of suspects under the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Act which I signed into law in June 2019.
‘‘This flag-off is an important step in the continuing shift in strategic action about regional maritime security.
‘‘It will serve as a benchmark for member states in the Gulf of Guinea and other relevant stakeholders to further develop innovative strategies and align efforts with the subsisting framework to improve maritime security in the region.”
He added that the new maritime security assets were coming at a critical time when the global discourse now revolved around piracy activities and the new dimension it has taken in the region.
The statement said, ‘‘With the world’s waters accounting for over 80 per cent of transportation requirements of the global economy, concerted efforts and innovative actions are required to address attendant security challenges.
‘‘Therefore, the flag-off of the project marks an important milestone in this regard and in our collective effort to tackle security challenges in the form of piracy and other maritime crimes in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea. It is also a demonstration of government’s strong commitment to ensuring security.
‘‘This intervention, no doubt, will facilitate a conducive environment for the maritime sector to thrive and contribute to the diversification of the Nigerian economy.”
He commended the Ministers of Transportation, Defence, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Director-General NIMASA, members of the Steering Committee, the Project Management Team and all other government stakeholders who had collaborated to execute this initiative.
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