FG Saved Over $10bn From Stoppage Of Illegal Maritime Activities
The Federal Government saved over $10billion on illegal maritime activities between September 2021 and January, this year, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Finance (FMoF) has said.
The source, who craved anonymity, told The Nation at the weekend that the Federal Government was able to save the country the huge amount based on the proper coordination of activities among Federal Government’s agencies in the manning of the maritime domain by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA).
The steps so far taken on Deep Blue Project by the Director- General of the agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the senior official said, had led to the reduction of crude oil theft, violent crimes, poaching and other illegalities in the maritime domain.
According to the source, “from available statistics at our disposal, the country loses about $25.5billion annually to illegal maritime activities in her waters while Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) loses about $1.35billion on illegal bunkering. The cost of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea due to stolen goods, insecurity, and insurance has been estimated to be $2 billion with a significant decline in Sea Route Attractiveness.
“The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, has, therefore, shown us that providing the maritime security will improve national prosperity.
“With the savings of over $10billion by the Federal Government in the last six years, it has shown that some of the policies and objectives of the current managementof NIMASA are imperative for national development and asset acquisition and national protection.”
“The policies initiated by NIMASA in the last one year have demonstrates its concern for maintenance of Sea Lanes of Commerce within the nation’s maritime domain for economy to thrive without any hindrance or malfeasance at sea.
“Maritime safety and security which are the core mandate of NIMASA is concerned with the prevention of national and intentional damage through sabotage, subversion, or terrorism and the prompt mitigation of incidences within the maritime domain.
Maritime security, therefore, involves the continuous surveillance and reconnaissance of a nation’s maritime domain with a view to prompt interdiction when infringements occur to the nation’s regulations by fellow Nigerians and foreigners,” the official said.
He gave the breakdown of the amount saved by the country as follows: “Between September and October last year, the country saved over $3billion. Also, about $4billion was saved between November and middle of December 2021. Between that period and the end of January this year, the country was able to save about $3billion.