Vessel Boarded At Gulf of Guinea As NIMASA Hosts Maritime Security Conference

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi



The International Maritime Bureau (IMB), on Tuesday, reported that suspected pirates have boarded a vessel 5NM SSW of Cotonou with all crew reaching the citadel.


This report is coming less that 24 hours after the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy in partnership with the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre ICC Yaoundé, announce intention to host the fifth plenary of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum for the Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), in Abuja.


However, the attacked vessel is understood to have been outbound from Lagos with a crew of 21, all believed to be Indian nationals.


The precise nature of the incident remains uncertain at this time, however, the incident is not thought to be a piracy event.


Unverified reporting indicates that the incident may be linked to an ongoing military operation by the Nigerian Navy. The Nigerian Navy have previously operated within waters off Benin, notably in an operation involving the attempted kidnap of crew from the TOMMI RITSCHER in April 2020.


There have been no reported incidents within the waters off Benin and Togo since the 31 May 2021.


Meanwhile, the Gulf of Guinea MCF/SHADE 5th plenary which is scheduled to take place in the Federal Capital Territory Abuja from May 10th – 11th has “Enduring and Sustainable Security” as its theme and all regional Navies amongst other international stakeholders are expected to attend.


Speaking ahead of the forum, the director general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, identified regional co-operation as having played an important role in reducing incidents of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.


According to him, “the establishment of GOG-MCF/SHADE has enabled working-level stakeholders from the GoG region and outside the region to connect and discuss how best to tackle piracy in the area. We believe that this has been a catalyst for non-regional stakeholders to step up and initiate effective maritime law enforcement operations to support regional efforts.”


“These collaborative initiatives and efforts of the Nigerian Navy and other regional Navies including the deployment of the Deep Blue Project, has been responsible for the considerable reduction in piracy incidents on Nigerian waters and the GoG region. It is noteworthy that the International Maritime Bureau, IMB has removed Nigeria from the global piracy list. Achieving this feat is not easy, but sustaining the status will be more challenging. Our goal is to sustain this new status of a piracy free Gulf of Guinea


The Gulf of Guinea collaboration Forum SHADE was established by Nigeria and 22 countries of the ICC in July 2021. The goal was to implement effective operational counter -piracy cooperation amongst regional and international Navies as well as the shipping industry and reporting Centres of the Yaounde Code of Conduct (ICC) for the a Regional Strategy for Maritime Safety and Security in Central and West Africa region.


The previous edition of the plenary held virtually in July last year, due to travel restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, and was hosted by the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Institute (GOGMI) in Accra, Ghana.



The Honorable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral AZ Gambo and the DG NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh are leading participants in plenary from Nigeria while Captain Bell Bell of the ICC-Yaounde is leading the international Navies and participants to the plenary.








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