kDirector General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has expressed the Agency’s desire to work with other stakeholders and expedite action on the passage of the Anti-Piracy and Other related Crimes at Sea into law.
The DG who stated this at a 4-day workshop organised by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in collaboration with the United States Government which held in Lagos recently, explained that the bill is necessary to provide the requisite framework for the fight, prosecution and punishment of piracy and related maritime crimes in Nigeria.
Peterside further called on the participants to do a thorough job so as to ensure early passage into law when presented to the National Assembly in order to reduce the legislative input that may cause delays.
He assured them and other maritime stakeholders present at the event that the Agency would collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Transportation and Justice as well as other relevant stakeholders to ensure early conclusion of work on the draft bill and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly for enactment.
The event also witnessed the presence of two renowned international maritime resource persons, Mr. Guiseppe Sernia and Philip Drew both of the UNODC who were facilitators at the workshop.
The workshop also unanimously agreed that the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA will meet again to fine tune the draft anti-piracy bill before sending it to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for presentation to the Federal Executive Council and ultimate transmission to the National Assembly.
The event also had in attendance, Justices of the Court of Appeal and the Federal High Court, prosecutors from the Directorate of Public Prosecution of the Federal Ministry of Justice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as officials from the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA.
The Anti-Piracy bill which is an initiative of NIMASA was conceived to incorporate the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Suppression of Unlawful Acts at Sea (SUA) conventions of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) into a comprehensive legislation to deal with the menace of piracy and related crimes in the Nigerian maritime domain