The first ever Joint Event on Strengthening Nigeria – EU Cooperation on Maritime Security was held at the Nigerian Navy’s Western Naval Command in Lagos on 7 April and solidified the close partnership that has developed between the Nigerian Navy, the European Union and EU Member States operating in the region.
Against the backdrop of port calls from the Italian Navy’s IT Rizzo and the Spanish Navy’s ES Serviola, the high-level event was organized jointly by the Nigerian Navy, the EU Delegation to Nigeria and EU Member States operating under the EU Coordinated Maritime Presences (CMP) initiative.
The European Union said in recent years, relations have deepened between the partners through enhanced operational cooperation, joint exercises and trainings, capacity development as well as increased information sharing and exchange.
“All sides recognize that the incidence of maritime crimes, particularly piracy and armed robbery at sea, has reduced across the region according to International Maritime Bureau Report of February 2022. An intensified presence at sea and the collaborative efforts by Nigeria, the EU and Member States played their part in achieving this success. However, the parties also acknowledge the need to further deepen relations by continued cooperating and with an aim to keep ensuring freedom of navigation, safety of seafarers, protection of regional resources and coastal communities,” the EU said.
“To this end, Nigeria has taken a leading role in regional coordination through the MCF-GOG SHADE deconfliction group and the Nigerian Navy has continuously developed its capacities to secure the open seas, including through the acquisition of new platforms and through the Falcon Eye surveillance system. The EU has actively been engaging with the Nigerian Navy through the CMP-mechanisms as well as through regional initiatives such as the YARIS information-sharing platform and with the assistance of the SWAIMS project.”
The EU said all sides will continue deepening their relations and reiterate their full commitment to maintaining their constructive dialogue and cooperation based on the principles of mutual respect.