CEM REPORT, SECURITY | To forestall and ultimately curb maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea’s corridor and ensure maritime security, the Italian Government has pledged to partner with the Nigerian Navy.
Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, made the pledge during a courtesy visit to the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai, in Apapa, Lagos.
The visit was part of activities lined up for the Italian Navy Ship NAVE BORSINI port call in Lagos.
The Ambassador informed that the Italian Navy Ship’s visit was within her framework of increasing anti-piracy initiatives, adding that the visit would also strengthen the existing bilateral relations between both countries’ navies.
“We are here both as friends and partners. Whatever we can discuss to bring peace to the Gulf of Guinea in partnership with the Nigerian Navy, we will. Together, we will explore ways to incorporate and further deepen the existing relations.“
The Flag Officer Commanding WNC, Rear Admiral Yakubu Wambai while commenting explained the two-day visit would be characterised by exercises between both countries’ navies to be on the same test running to master the manual machines exercises.
He added that the sea exercise that would entail the practice of ”manual machines on the daily requirements and rigours at sea.
He also noted that the Nigerian Navy would “continue to put into action plans that have been conceptualised to see the workability between us and them in the coordinated maritime presence.“
Wambai added that ”So far so good it has been going on well, ships come and go and we relate very well with them. That i s why over time, the scale of infractions in our water has drastically reduced, particularly in Nigeria.
“We have been delisted by the International Maritime Bureau of piracy. So, it means the cooperation, collaboration, and partnership we have is working very well. And we will continue to have such partnership and to have more presence at sea because the more presence you have at sea serves as enough deterrence for open infractions in the maritime domain”.
He disclosed that three months ago, one of the Italian ships was in Lagos in pursuit of a coordinated maritime presence.
Activities of pirates and other transnational organised crime have been a major threat to maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea and the economic development of the entire region.