President Muhammadu Buhari has asked for the collective efforts of stakeholders in the maritime sector to rid the Nigerian waters of emerging security threats.
The president made this call in Abuja today at the first-ever Global Maritime Security Conference.
Buhari said statistics indicate that efforts to eradicate the menace by the governments of the region are yielding result, citing the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting centre.
The president who was represented by the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, reiterated the need for a joint effort to tackle the threats. He said security in the region is vital to global trade, in view of the fact that many critical trade routes connecting the continent to the rest of the world run through the gulf.
He also said safety and security of sea transportation are critical for seamless trade and effective economic integration, especially now that Africa is forging ahead with the phase two negotiations for the creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area.
In his remarks, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, said the absence of legal frameworks within member states is a significant challenge in the regional effort to stem the tide of maritime insecurity.
On his part, the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas called for efforts to improve collaboration and enforcement of maritime security laws by regional partners and stakeholders towards enhanced maritime security within the region.