29 Jan, 2021 11:00 am

Nigeria: EU Moves to Take Control of Maritime Security in Gulf of Guinea

Eromosele Abiodun

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had in 2019 hosted about 30 countries at the Global Maritime Security Conference.The high-level maritime security conference was meant to facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region and develop tailored solutions.According to the document, the EU said it would henceforth ensure political control and provide strategic guidance West and Central African States in an effort to address the many challenges to maritime security, including organised crime."These commitments have been pivotal in the progressive establishment of the 'Yaoundé Architecture' to improve coordination and cooperation on maritime security.

Nevertheless, the Gulf of Guinea continues to face a challenging environment in which piracy, armed robbery at sea, kidnapping of seafarers, illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, smuggling and trafficking of drugs and arms, as well as transnational organised crime pose a major and increasing threat to maritime security, affecting freedom of navigation, thus endangering major trade routes, jeopardising the sustainable development of the entire region and the economic livelihood of the population, and leading to the deterioration of the environment and biodiversity.Recalling both the EU's Maritime Security Strategy and the related Action Plan, as well as the EU's Strategy on the Gulf of Guinea and its related Action Plan, following the Council Conclusions of 17 June 2020, the Council said it is launching the pilot case of the Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) concept in the Gulf of Guinea.

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