The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the importance of the Gulf of Guinea to food security to the West and Central African sub-region, stating that the region must be properly secured to avert illegal activities that may hamper food supply in the African region.
The DG stated this at the seminar on the State of Food Security Assured by the Seas of West and Central Africa and The Perspectives on The Blue Economy in Member States of the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) organised by NIMASA in conjunction with the GGC in Lagos.
Peterside, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr. Bashir Jamoh, said that the Gulf of Guinea, which is a major shipping route, must be properly guarded if the countries of the region are to properly harness the blue economy for economic growth.
“The Gulf of Guinea, aside being a major shipping route, is also home for many aquatic species and so the countries of the region must do everything to safeguard the region from illegal fishing, piracy and other activities that may affect the food chain,” he said.
Speaking further, the NIMASA boss said that agency knows the importance of the region to the African continent and that is the major reason it has continuously championed collaborations amongst member states in order to develop the continent’s blue economy through sustainable shipping.
He said that this seminar will also assist participating countries to better understand the blue economy and how to properly harness the inherent potentials of the African maritime sector.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Ambassador Florentina Adenike Ukonga commended the leadership of NIMASA for the role the agency is playing in ensuring safety of lives and property in the region.
She said the commission decided to have a seminar on the blue economy to promote sustainable shipping in the region.
The Gulf of Guinea Commission was established by the treaty signed in Libreville, Gabon on July 3, 2001 by Nigeria, Angola, Gabon as well as Sao Tome and Principe. The seminar was the second in the series organised by the Commission to enlighten member states on the advantages of sustainable shipping.