The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has disclosed that Nigeria loses well over $3billion each year to piracy activities, armed robbery and other sea crimes.
NIMASA made this disclosure while presenting a draft bill against piracy and other illegal sea activities to maritime stakeholders, in Port Harcourt, River State.
Director General, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, Speaking through the agency’s legal adviser, Barrister Matthew Egbado, said that the bill, when passed, would provide legal backing to the fight against piracy and other crimes at sea and help curb the financial loses the country was suffering from.
He noted that the draft bill which was put together by the agency’s consultant, the IMO technical consultant and the legal team of NIMASA entails the review of the UNCLOS 1982 and the SUA 1988 conventions and protocols as they relate to piracy.
He said the workshop was put together to enable all stakeholders to make contributions to the bill before it will be sent to the National Assembly for enactment.
Speaking at the event, renowned jurist and chairman of the occasion, Justice Adolphus Karybi-White observed that shipping is very critical to human existence, facilitating not just trade but tourism and even moderating climatic conditions, just as stakeholders welcome the bill.