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NIMASA presses for WRI removal – The Sun Nigeria – Daily Sun

From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has launched series of moves and presentations across the globe for the lifting of the War Risk Insurance (WRI) imposed on vessels delivering goods and merchandise to Nigeria due to fears of insecurity.
Mr. Ubong Essien, the Special Assistant to the Director General of NIMASA, Basir Jamoh, disclosed this in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at the weekend, saying that WRI is causing serious inflation in Nigeria.
According to Essien, goods coming to Nigeria carry very high and discriminatory fees that fuel inflation in the country.
He revealed that the NIMASA boss had travelled around the world to make case for WRI removal, expressing sadness that this (WRI) has persisted despite huge improvements in security in Nigeria’s waters.
He expressed: “We are all paying the price for it. When goods enter the country, the higher cost in shipping and insurance will drive the cost up.
“The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has admitted that the attacks have drastically dropped as never before in decades. What baffles the NIMASA management is why that? This reduction in attacks has been admitted by the IMB; but, the WRI is still in place. It’s a punitive insurance measure.
“The DG has gone to three international meetings where he has been making demand and appeal for removal of War Risk Insurance.”
The agency said it would soon unveil a national blueprint on Blue Economy, as it seeks increased participation and benefits to the nation from its coastal endowments.
Essien noted that the agency had since launched and diligently implemented the Deep Blue project, which has reduced to the barest minimum incidences of piracy and other forms of insecurity that had threatened navigation in the country’s maritime domain.
He noted that the achievements which have hugely increased safety in the nation’s waterways and other developments embarked upon by the agency’s Director General were responsible for the Zik Prize for Public Servants recently won by Jamoh.
The DG’s special assistant said that besides drastically reducing piracy and other criminal attacks on vessels in the country’s waterways, NIMASA was developing partnership in different areas with littoral states in maritime development, like infrastructure and fishing.
He explained that the thinking on the agency on the partnership with the littoral is that the states become the engine of the blue growth with each partnering state capitalising on their comparative advantage.
He revealed: “You have three categories of assets, air, sea and land: In air asset category, we have two special mission helicopters and two aircraft. The helicopters handle surveillance but in the event of emergency, they can serve as intervention assets. NIMASA bears responsibility of safety of sea operations and thus uses the air assets to ensure this.
“In sea assets, we have two special mission vessels that go to sea and can stay at one spot from time to time and watch out. There are fast-moving interception boats that can take about 16 armed agents each. They serve as MSU (Maritime Security Unit).
“They can be deployed in the event of an attack on any vessel at the nation’s territorial waters or anywhere within its jurisdiction or permit. The vessels stay at sea and gather information via satellite and general surveillance and receive distress calls. They can deploy any number of fast boats to intervene.
“On the Special Mission Vessels, there are helipads to launch choppers and receive them back. We have drones that go out for up to 16 hours to survey and share information.
On land asset, he said: “There is the C4i Centre which is like the nerve centre of the entire operation. It is an IT environment that is driven by computers connected to satellite that brings information and intelligence. It runs identification system of vessels. A drone can be sent to find out what is happening to a ship. At the C4i, information is coming from air to sea to land through the C4i centre and this helps to decide which asset to dispatch to where.
He, however, informed that the maritime security unit comprises the Navy, Air Force, Army, the DSS (Department of State Security), and the Police.
Sun News Online Team
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From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said it has launched…

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