BY GODWIN OBI
Nigeria, through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Republic of Korea today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation in the field of Maritime Security and Safety. The Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh signed on behalf of NIMASA while the Director General, International Affairs and Intelligence Bureau, Korean Coast Guard, Seonggi Kang signed on behalf of Korea.
The MoU which provides a framework for NIMASA and the Korean Coast Guard is to develop, Coordinate and Monitor the implementation of Maritime Security and Safety between both organisations.
During the signing, NIMASA DG Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that the MoU will be implemented to the best interest of both countries adding that it will ultimately enhance safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “the relationship between Nigeria and Korean spans over many decades. This MoU which started with a statement of intent in 2018 is designed to reinforce the commitment of both countries to grow bilateral trade through maritime”. He said.
Commenting on the emergence of Nigeria’s Dr Paul Adalikwu as the newly elected Secretary General of the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa, MOWCA, Dr Jamoh said that it is another testimony of the trust the international community now bestow on Nigeria’s leadership role in the African maritime sector.
Dr Jamoh also used the occasion to call on the Korean Government to support Nigeria’s quest to return to council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during the elections scheduled for the first week of December in London. “It is worthy of note that Nigeria as a leading maritime nation in the West and Central Africa region is seeking election into council in category C at the IMO. We trust you will convey our message to your home country on the need to support Nigeria.
On his part, the Director for International and Intelligence Bureau of the Korea Coast Guard (KCG) Seonggi Kang commended Nigeria for its commitment to the growth of the maritime industry.
He said, “we are impressed with Nigerian Government commitment to safety and security in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea. We shall convey your message seeking support for return to council at the IMO to our home country based on conviction.
Seonggi Kang expressed optimism that the MoU will assist in addressing some issues in the Nigerian Maritime domain. According to him, “there are a lot of concerns in the Gulf of Guinea, especially with piracy and illegal fishing. We hope by signing this MoU, these challenges and others will be resolved”.
The NIMASA, Korean Coast Guard MoU which is for an initial period of 5 years and will be automatically renewed for another 5 years unless either participant withdraws 6 months before the expiration, covers Capacity Building, Information Sharing, Search and Rescue Liaison and establishment of hotlines for direct communication at all times.
Executive Director of Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Mr. Ahmed Shehu; Director General/CEO of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; Director, Legal Services NIMASA, Mr. Victor Egejuru Esq. and Director for International and Intelligence Bureau of the Korea Coast Guard (KCG) Seonggi Kang during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation in the field of Maritime Security and Safety at the NIMASA Headquarters in Lagos