The Federal Government has called on marine insurers and Lloyd of London to stop the collection of the War Risk Insurance premium on Nigerian-bound cargoes.
Bashir Jamoh, the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), made the appeal in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, over the weekend at the graduation ceremony of the third batch of the Deep Blue Project personnel.
He said Nigeria has done so much to stamp out piracy on its territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea.
According to him, Nigeria is deserving of the international insurance companies’ consideration of removal of the war risk insurance from vessels and goods destined for Nigeria.
The NIMASA boss further disclosed that since the inception of the deep blue project, Nigeria has maintained zero pirate attacks, adding that the two recent pirate incidents on Nigerian waters were unsuccessful.
Jamoh further disclosed that the imposition of the war risk insurance on all Nigerian-bound cargoes was a deadly blow to the economy as its negative impact on the cost of goods is felt by all.
“Nigeria is an import-dependent country, it is either what we consume is imported or the materials for making them are imported. Therefore, such insurance premium which is a penalty for the insecurity we then had on our waters translated into the high cost of goods in the market. Once it is removed, competition will definitely force the price of goods down. So, the international community will be reciprocating the achievement Nigeria has recorded in the fight against piracy using the innovative deep blue project,” Jamoh said.
He, however, stated that since the implementation of the project, no pirate attack has successfully taken place in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
Also speaking, Mu’azu Sambo, the Minister of Transportation affirmed the satisfaction of the Federal Government with the highly improved state of security in the Nigerian territorial waters since the commencement of the deep blue project, assuring that the government will sustain the programme.
“An intelligence mapping of the activities of pirates and sea criminals revealed that most pirates and sea robbery attacks are planned on land, executed on land and the proceeds are also taken to the land. Therefore, the activities of the maritime security unit, especially their logistics which is made possible by the armoured personnel carriers’ technicians are very critical and indispensable in the entire deep blue architecture due to their role in dismantling the operational structures of these criminals,” Sambo said.