Peterside: Nigeria Water Unsafe, Deadly

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Eromosele Abiodun
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has confirmed United States of America maritime administration’s claims that Nigeria water is deadly and unsafe.

Peterside stated this against the backdrop of Nigeria’s loss of a seat in Category C of the International ‎Maritime Organisation (IMO). According to him, ‎Nigeria insecure and unsafe water contributed immensely to the nation’s woes at IMO election.

Speaking ‎‎to journalists at the end of a meeting of the ‘G7 Friends of Gulf of Guinea Group’ in Lagos‎, he ‎ explained that G7 Friends of the Gulf of the Guinea Group is one of the international initiatives Nigeria is leveraging on to strengthen fight against piracy and other criminal activities on the sea.

It is on record that actual and attempted piracy attacks in Nigerian territorial waters in 2016 were 36 while 40 persons were kidnapped on Nigeria waters in 2017.
The insecurity of the nation’s water had prompted the United States of America in November 2017 to warn ships to be wary when approaching Nigerian waters.

The US Maritime Administration, who quoted the latest quarterly report from the International Maritime Bureau noted that a total of 20 reports of attacks against all vessel types were received from Nigeria while 39 of the 49 crew members’ kidnappings globally occurred off Nigerian waters in seven separate incidents.
The NIMASA boss said ‎the impression of the international community is that Nigeria was not doing enough to tackle the challenge adding that it contributed immensely to Nigeria losing the election.‎

‎ “I cannot deny the fact that the issue of piracy may have had some impact on the elections. Our colleagues did not have much information about what we were doing to tackle piracy and there was a general impression that Nigeria was not doing enough to tackle the issue of piracy,” he said
Also, speaking on the amount spent on the lost election, the DG said a whopping N100million was expended on Nigeria failed election bid.

“NIMASA spent less than N100million for the IMO campaign and it was only three delegates that attended the conference from NIMASA, “he said.
He explained that countries like Singapore, China, and United Arab Emirates attended the IMO with highest number of delegates.

Speaking further on why Nigeria lost out of the IMO Election, Dakuku identified late preparations, delay from the Federal Executive Council and recession as another reason why the country lost
“Also, late preparations and the fact that we did not go round other countries like others did, it would have cost plenty of money but we are not willing to spend such money. We had considered economic factors in context of our political aspirations”

“It is Nigeria that ran for IMO category C, and for you to use the name Nigeria, you must get the approval of the man who is managing all the country, the president just got elected, so it would have gone through a process, we have lost some time but the approval eventually came, after we got the approval, there are also budgetary processes to go through, even if the approval was given two years ago, we also need to do the background work to get budgetary provision for it before we begin the campaign, all of these things affected our early preparations.
“But now that we know better, we are starting the next preparations immediately, because we deserve a place in the council of the IMO, these are what we meant by late preparations,” he explained.

However, to find a lasting solution to piracy, the DG‎ explained that the G7 Friends of the Gulf of the Guinea Group is one of the international initiatives Nigeria is leveraging on to strengthen the fight against piracy and other criminal activities on the sea.
“What you are seeing now is an international dimension of the fight against piracy and maritime crime which is a new strategy. G7 is an initiative of the group towards finding lasting solution to the issues of security in the gulf of guinea. For the first time, they decided to take the program outside the continent of Europe and the lot fell on Nigeria because they think the gulf of guinea suffers the peculiar problem and criminal activities on sea.

Also speaking, Chairman Senate Committee on Navy, Isah Hamma Misau encouraged the group to sustain its intervention beyond the direct anti-piracy policies to ensure that appropriate resources and taxation flow into the region, so that public health, education and employment are equitably offered in the region.
He said that this would help address the underlying socio-economic root causes of piracy in the region.
He continued that to boost maritime development on the Gulf of Guinea, there is also the need to strengthen maritime institutions.‎

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Kayode Assumes Office as Abuja Chamber President
A four time cabinet minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prince Adetokunbo Adeyinka Kayode, SAN, recently assumed office as the President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).

Kayode who was in charge of Culture and Tourism, Labor and Productivity, Defence as well as Justice and Attorney of the Federation succeeded Mr. Tony Ejinkeonye who has completed his three-year single term.

A statement signed by the Director General of the ACCI,
Mr. Chijioke Ekechukwu explained that at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Chamber which took place in Abuja, the legal luminary said he was overwhelmed at the show of solidarity extended to him by the Council, Executive, members, partners, management and staff of the chamber during the years he served as the First Deputy President.

He promised to use the wealth of experience gathered from his track record of private legal practice, public service as well as the key roles he has played in the organised private sector (OPS) to elevate the Chamber to enviable heights.

He immediately announced a change that will ensure that members of the chamber are brought together to discuss issues of common concerns in every quarter of the year.
“Under my administration, I will ensure that all members are brought together quarterly to discuss issues, fashion ideas as well as key into available opportunities that will present themselves”, he stressed.

He thanked the immediate past President for staring the ship of the chamber in the right direction and emphasised that, he will build on the foundation laid by his predecessor.
Prince Kayode was First Deputy President of the Chamber for three-years. He is bringing massive wealth of experience as a legal luminary, dedicated private, public and Organised Private Sector (OPS) players

Earlier in his speech, Ejinkeonye sued for an extension of the cooperation he received from all to the new President in order to realise the mission and vision of the chamber.
The highly attended AGM had in attendance three former Presidents of the Chamber, Mr. Peter Okoro, Engr. Solomon Nyagba and Barr. Dele Oye.