The Nigerian Navy and its Ghanaian counterpart on Friday in Abuja agreed to join forces to secure the maritime domains of their two countries against piracy and other criminal activity.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo and his Ghanaian counterpart Rear Admiral Issah Yakubu have agreed to the partnership when the latter paid a visit to the naval headquarters, in Abuja.
Gambo noted that the partnership has become imperative due to pirate and other criminal activities in the maritime domain of the two countries.
Recalling that the two countries have enjoyed long-standing brotherly relations in the fields of economics, education, military training and cooperation, Gambo said similar relations are also evident in interactions between their navies.
The CNS noted that the Gulf of Guinea was threatened by the activities of criminal elements, who took advantage of the limited capacities of the navies in the region to adequately secure the area.
Gambo stressed that the threat posed by the activities of these elements poses a major challenge not only for riparian states, but also undermines regional development and global trade.
“Notably, the cross-border and transnational nature of maritime crimes makes environmental security a task beyond the capabilities of any country acting alone.
“It is in this context that this bilateral engagement was called by the heads of our two countries to meet the challenges of maritime security in the region,” he said.
Gambo expressed optimism that the partnership would foster greater collaboration and burden sharing based on the maritime security cooperation framework as envisioned in the Yaoundé Protocol of 2013, to strategically address maritime security. and improve the economic prosperity of the region.
“I have no doubt that the partnership will further strengthen the cordial bilateral relations existing between the two countries as well as the navies,” he added.
Earlier, Yakubu said he was visiting his Nigerian counterpart to forge a partnership against the activities of pirates and other criminals operating in the maritime environments of the two countries.
The Ghanaian CNS noted that the only way out of the challenge was for the navies of the two countries to form a partnership to tackle the threat head-on, citing in particular the need for mutual information sharing.
“What is currently happening in the Gulf of Guinea is not very good for the maritime environment of the two countries. Therefore, a partnership of this nature is necessary to be able to deal with the horrible situation,” he said.
He expressed optimism that the partnership would go a long way in addressing the challenges and positively changing the narrative. (NAN)