Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Republic of Korea have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of cooperation in the field of maritime security and safety.
Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in a statement issued by Edward Osagie, Assistant Director, Public Relations, NIMASA, on Tuesday in Lagos.
While Jamoh signed on behalf of NIMASA, the Director-General, International Affairs and Intelligence Bureau, Korean Coast Guard, Seonggi Kang, signed on behalf of Korea.
Jamoh noted that the MoU, which provided a framework for NIMASA and the Korean Coast Guard, was aimed at developing, coordinating and monitoring the implementation of maritime security and safety between both countries.
He said that the MoU would be implemented in the best interest of both countries, adding that it would ultimately enhance safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.
“The relationship between Nigeria and Korean spans many decades.
“This MoU, which started with a statement of intent in 2018, is designed to reinforce the commitment of both countries to growing bilateral trade through maritime,” he said.
On the emergence of Nigeria’s Dr. Paul Adalikwu as the Secretary-General of Maritime Organisation for West and Central Africa (MOWCA), Jamoh said that it was another testimony of the trust that the international community had in Nigeria’s leadership role in the African maritime sector.
He called on the Korean government to support Nigeria’s quest to return to the council of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) during the elections scheduled for the first week in December, in London.
“It is worthy of note that Nigeria, as a leading maritime nation in the West and Central Africa regions, is seeking election into the council in category C at the IMO,"
“We trust you will convey our message to your home country on the need to support Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, the Director for the International and Intelligence Bureau of the Korea Coast Guard (KCG), Seonggi Kang, commended Nigeria for its commitment to the growth of the maritime industry.
He said, “We are impressed with the Nigerian government’s commitment to safety and security in the Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea,"
“We shall convey your message seeking support for the return to council at the IMO to our home country, based on conviction,” he said.
Kang expressed optimism that the MoU would assist in addressing some issues in the Nigerian maritime domain.
“There are lots of concerns in the Gulf of Guinea, especially with piracy and illegal fishing. We hope that by signing this MoU, these challenges and others will be resolved,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU is for an initial period of five years and will be automatically renewed for another five years unless either participant withdraws six months before the expiration.
It covers the capacity building, information sharing, searches and rescue liaison and establishment of hotlines for direct communication at all times.