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PIRACY: NIMASA PARTNERS SPANISH NAVY

By NBF News
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BY GODFREY BIVBERE, EDIRI EJOH & PRECIOUS IYOMERE
FOLLOWING the increase in piracy and armed robbery at sea along nation's waterways, the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has entered into partnership with the Spanish Navy in a bid to secure the waterways to enhance maritime business.

Even as the modalities for the agreement is being worked out between the Spanish Navy and NIMASA, pirates last week kidnapped three Americans from an American tanker vessel off the coast of the nation's waters, according to an agency report.

The report stated that the American oil supply vessel, the CHEVRON chartered ENDEAVOUR came under attack last week off the coast of Nigeria and three of the crew have been kidnapped.

Reports of injuries
The vessel, which is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore was attacked on Thursday at around 20h00 local time. There are no reports of injuries but the fate of the three kidnapped is not yet known. Chevron said that it was assisting Chouest to ensure the safe release of the men.

They said the incident had been reported to the appropriate Nigerian authorities. The Endeavour was servicing Chevron's Agbami field off Bayelsa State when it was attacked. On the partnership with the Spanish Navy, the Director General of the apex maritime agency, Mr. Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi stressed the need for partnership to enable it achieved its mandate of ensuring safety on the Nigerian waters.

The captain of a Spanish Ship MV Cazadora, Lt. Commander Ignacio Lopez De Ayala and his crew were at the Agency on a courtesy visited and were received by the Executive Director Finance and Administration Mr. Adeniran Aderogba who represented the Director General.

According to the Head of Public Relations of the agency, Hajia Lami Tumaka, the NIMASA boss He reiterated the Agency's commitment in fighting piracy which has led it to go into partnership with Benin Republic Navy to help them fight piracy on their waters; and so far a lot of achievements have been recorded.

In his words 'with the strong position the Spanish Navy has with the EU, you should be able to help Nigeria develop its maritime sector'.

Speaking further, he noted that foreign nationals most times are involved in illegal activities on our waters which is a challenge in the country's maritime sector.