…As Peterside confirms participation of over 70 countries

Nigeria’s leader, President Muhammadu Buhari

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries OPEC has thrown its full weight behind the Federal Government of Nigeria for accepting to host the upcoming Global Maritime Security Conference slated for October 7-9, 2019 in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

Secretary General of the organisation, Mohammed Sanusi Barkindo, who gave the commendation in a statement to the organising committee of the conference, said the event will go a long way in addressing security concerns in the maritime domain of the entire Gulf of Guinea.

Meanwhile, chairman of the Association of African Maritime Administrations AAMA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has confirmed that over 70 countries from Africa, Asia, America and Europe have confirmed their participation in the three-day conference.

Barkindo noted that the Gulf of Guinea was strategic to the stability of oil production globally, adding that the area was a major shipping route and as such any infraction there would be felt beyond the region.

“The strategic importance of the Gulf of Guinea is undisputed and any disruption in the area has a direct negative impact on the oil and gas industry and indeed, of global concern. This conference is timely in bringing together the relevant and critical stakeholders to allow them to discuss in a constructive manner what concerted action could be undertaken to ensure the sustainable use and long term security of this important and strategic body of oceans”, he said.

Barkindo said the conference would also create renewed confidence in investment in the oil and gas sector in the Gulf of Guinea, with a multiplier effect of addressing the challenges associated with the sector globally.

While commenting on the conference, the chairman of AAMA, who doubles as Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, while assuring participants of a successful event, said the conference would provide a platform for stakeholders from all walks of life to brainstorm and collectively find solutions to the challenge of maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea.

 “We shall have no-holds-barred discussions on security in the Gulf of Guinea at the conference, which promises to be a watershed event in the history of maritime security in Africa and, indeed, the world,” Peterside stated. 

The Global Maritime Security Conference 2019 is a high-level meeting meant to facilitate a clearer understanding of the challenges of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea region. It is intended to develop tailored solutions as well as coordinate efforts at strengthening regional and international collaborations to eliminate maritime threats in the region.

Expected participants include relevant Government Ministries and Agencies, the Navies and Coast Guards from different countries, regulatory bodies, maritime lawyers and professionals, Foreign Missions and Diplomats, policy makers and researchers, institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations NGOs, among others.