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G7++: Nigeria stems tide of violence in Niger Delta, Gulf of Guinea-Defence Minister

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•Commends Presidential Amnesty Programme 

…Babatunde Opalana 

The NNigeria’s Defence Minister, Mansur Muhammad Dan-Ali, has said the government has been able to effectively stem the tide of insecurity around the Niger Delta coast of Nigeria and Gulf of Gunea.

Dan-Ali  said that through the combination of infrastructure development programmes, engagements with local communities, sustenance of the Amnesty Programme for repentant ex-militants and improved maritime policing activities.

The Minister told delegates and Representatives of Government of G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea Group meeting in Rome which ended on Tuesday, said recent improvements in maritime policing capabilities have resulted in significant reduction in attacks and other maritime criminalities.

Reeling our successes recorded in recent times, he said,”For instance, in the first half of 2016, 55 pirate attacks on shipping were recorded with 36 successful. In this closing first half of 2017, however, only 4 successful attacks were recorded out of a total of 16 attempted attack. This is a direct reflection of the activation of dedicated anti-piracy Operation TSARE TEKU off the coast of Niger Delta.

He further disclosed that the Federal Government’s plans to establish modular refineries and other programmes are  to curb crude oil theft and to promote youth employment in the region.”

Dan- Ali reiterated that the Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari recently developed a Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure on Arrest, Detention and Prosecution (HSOP-ADP) Vessels and Persons involved in maritime criminalities adding that the HSOP also made provision for developing and sharing a common database on maritime criminality. As the INTERPOL recently indicated interest in supporting this initiative, Nigeria looks forward to more engaging discussions and capacity building programmes

He disclosed that Nigeria is still concerned about IUUF activities by foreign flagged ships and persistent involvement of other nationals in the crude oil theft and piracy activities in the Niger Delta.

Towards this, he said,” In the course of Nigerian Navy’s anti-piracy operations, we have also seen a trend of preference for kidnap-for-ransom, with the involvement of negotiators from outside the region. In consequence, I wish to call for more engaging cooperation and operational collaboration among Gulf of Guinea states and with the G7++ in information sharing on maritime criminal networks, individuals and vessels”.

Nigeria, he stressed, remains committed to the objectives of the 2050 Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS) and recently adopted AU Charter on Maritime Security Safety and Development.  In this regard, the process for the legislating a Bills on Piracy has also been initiated.

The minister thanked member states of the G7++ Friends of Gulf of Guinea Group for the sustained interest in the promotion of peace, security and development in the Gulf of Guinea saying Nigeria continues to appreciate their capacity building programmes, particularly in recent years, as they have translated into tangible capabilities that have helped in stemming the tide of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

 

Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali receiving a souvenir  from Italian Minister of Defence Sen Roberta Pinnoti during his working visit to Ministry of Defence in Rome Italy. 27.06.17
Minister of Defence Mansur Dan-Ali receiving a souvenir  from Italian Minister of Defence Sen Roberta Pinnoti during his working visit to Ministry of Defence in Rome Italy. 27.06.17


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