Global think-tank hails Nigeria for making Gulf of Guinea safer

By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Chattam House, a world-leading policy institute based in London, has praised the efforts of Nigeria and its military in making the Gulf of Guinea safer for operations.

The Global think-tank gave the commendation in London during a meeting with the Nigeria Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on Wednesday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Mohammed who was on a working visit to London met with Dr Alex Vines, Chattam House’s Managing Director, Risk, Ethics and Resilience/Director, Africa Programme, and his team.

The global think-tanks also called on the Federal Government to take advantage of the decline in piracy in Gulf of Guinea to boost its blue economy.

“With what the military, Nigeria Navy in particular, has achieved in the Gulf of Guinea, the next step will be to convince the major insurance companies in the world to start doing business with Nigeria.

“Ships will be freely plying the route to the advantage of boosting Nigeria’s blue economy,” he said.

Speaking with NAN after the meeting, the minister said it was a huge compliment coming from Chattam House.

“Chatam House is one of the most respected Think Tanks around the world , it was an honour and privilege for me to meet with the Director and some of the Principal member of staff.

“We exchanged view on the happenings in Nigeria.

“We went further to discuss security, economy and I was amazed about how well informed they were about Nigeria.

“I am also impressed about how sympathetic and appreciative of the efforts of this administration in the areas of economy, security and providing infrastructure.

“It was a very healthy exchange for both parties,” he said

The minister underscored the need for the Nigerian media to report the achievements of the administration rather than playing up the sensational negative news.

He assured that the administration would remain focused to sustain it’s reputation locally and internationally.

In his continuing engagements with the international media in London, the minister met with “The Telegraph” BBC –Radio, Television Pidgin and Yoruba service.

He said the interactions covered a range of issues – security, economy, infrastructure, fighting and corruption.

The Gulf of Guinea is an important shipping zone transporting oil and gas as well as goods to and from Africa and the rest of the world.

It accounts for about 4.5 million barrels of oil produced daily in Africa while Nigeria’s maritime environment constituted about 12 per cent of the Gulf of Guinea thus accounting for over 85 per cent of the total seaward trade with the rest of the world.

The Gulf of Guinea had, however, been on constant attacks by pirates who constituted impediments to the growth of the nation’s maritime and blue economy.

To address the security challenge, the Nigerian Navy initiated anti-piracy operation: ‘Operationdv Tsare Taku’ and the anti-crude oil theft and illegal crude refining operation: ‘OP DAKATAR DA BARAWO’ to curb insecurity in the nation’s maritime environment.
The Navy had been given a pat on the back, for significant decline in piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.

Swift responses of the Nigerian Navy to illegal activities at the sea was said to have reduced the rate of successful attacks of pirates in Nigeria’s maritime domain. (NAN)

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