PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that Nigeria will team up with other countries to strengthen maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina on Thursday in Abuja said Buhari spoke while receiving the Executive Secretary of the Gulf of Guinea Commission, Ambassador (Mrs) Florentina Adenike Ukonga, at State House, Abuja.
Buhari said the Commission is of strategic importance, as most of the crude oil stolen from Nigeria is taken through the Gulf of Guinea.
“That region, between Senegal and Angola, affects our financial and physical security as a country. Nigeria will, therefore, meet all its obligations to the Gulf of Guinea Commission, and also encourage other member countries to do the same,” the President said.
“This administration will do its best to strengthen maritime security. The rejuvenation of the Gulf of Guinea Commission is vital, and Nigeria will participate more effectively because of the security implications,” President Buhari added.
Ambassador Ukonga disclosed that the Commission was established in 2001, to tackle piracy, unregulated fishing, drugs and human trafficking, environmental pollution, among others.
The Gulf of Guinea Commission, with headquarters in Luanda, Angola, also generates awareness among member states on the need to maintain security in their territorial waters.
“We have been giving the bad guys in maritime a run for their money,” the Executive Secretary said.
The Commission has eight countries as members from West and Central Africa, with an intention to admit more countries soon.