Dogara promises speedy passage of anti-piracy law to secure Nigerian waters

Speaker Dogara
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, has expressed the willingness of the National Assembly to collaborate with the executive to make new laws and strengthen existing ones in order to end incidences of piracy and theft of natural resources in Nigeria’s territorial waters.

While speaking to a delegation from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), comprising of the director general and executive management staff, in his office, the Speaker said in view of the fact that the society is presently plagued by ills caused by poverty, unemployment and underemployment, the business environment must be protected to guard against deterrents such as piracy and theft in order to attract more investors to the country and trigger job creation.

He noted that Nigeria has lost many companies to sister nations along the West Coast due to their better business environment and laws, adding that the National Assembly is bent on ensuring that more is done in addition to efforts already made towards sanitising the business environment in Nigeria.

The speaker said the parliament is willing to give expeditious consideration and passage to maritime related bills that seek to suppress piracy in Nigeria and make NIMASA more effective in discharging its functions because Nigerians will be the beneficiaries in terms of lower costs of goods and job opportunities.

Hon Dogara said, “As a country of perhaps one 180 million people, we cannot afford to be losing businesses. You know, most of the ills that we face in society today are related to poverty, unemployment, underemployment; that’s those even employed but not earning living wages. 

"So it causes a lot of problems for us and by the time we don’t sanitise our business environment, it leads to a situation where companies run from jurisdictions that have stricter laws governing businesses and business environment is not made conducive to areas where the laws are better, there is security and all the incentives for business are there. 

"As a matter of fact, we have lost quite a number of companies that were operating in Nigeria to our sister countries within the West Coast and that is what we must address if we hope to give hope to the teeming populace," the Speaker said among other things.

While assuring the NIMASA delegation of the National Assembly’s commitment to pass all relevant laws to upgrade the effectiveness of the agency, he assured that Nigerians will be given the opportunity to examine the proposals from the executive and make their contributions to the bills during public hearings that will be conducted on them and finish up for passage before the legislature closes for Christmas.

Earlier, the director general of NIMASA, Hon Dakuku Peterside, who led the delegation, said they were on an advocacy visit to solicit support for 3 important Bills that are either before the National Assembly or will soon be before it. 

He explained that the bills are Suppression of Piracy Act which seeks to address the rising tide of piracy along the Gulf of Guinea where Nigeria is a key player and whose effect has led to astronomical rise in freight rates and insurance costs which are eventually passed on to Nigerians as the final consumers of the goods.

The two other bills are Amendment of Merchant Bill and NIMASA Act, he said among other things















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