By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has begun moves to get country delisted from the War Risk Insurance, WRI, classification.
The classification allows vessels calling at the ports of affected countries to impose a high insurance premium citing high risk of piracy on the territorial waters.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said that the agency has contacted the international insurance bodies over the continuous listing and collection of WRI from vessels calling at the Nigeria’s ports, despite the reduction in the level of piracy on the nation’s waters.
The NIMASA boss also disclosed that in the first half of this year, H1’22, there has not been any pirate attack on any vessel on the Nigerian territorial waters.
He stated: “Last month after we were removed from the red list of piracy, we are no longer the most dangerous waters to trade on in the whole world as it used to be. If you recall last year during World Maritime day, that was the first time I started raising alarm that there was a drastic reduction of piracy in Nigeria and we will not continue to pay the World Risk Insurance fee.
So what we need to do is for the insurance body to come up with the yardstick that makes Nigeria be on the red list to pay world risk insurance. We look into the criteria and why the judges have placed us at that level then; we will know where we did right and where we are wrong; for where we are right, they should use that as an avenue to judge us and reduce the cost because of the reduction in piracy.
“They claimed we have been on the list for more than 25 years and a short time cannot be a yardstick to remove the World Risk Insurance adding that we shouldn’t bring a few examples. We compiled our report and they told us last month that they have concluded their Executive Council meeting for the second quarter and by the third quarter in September they are going to consider other countries including Nigeria.
“They asked us to bring up our short, medium, and long term plans that will convince them we have permanent and sustainable reasons to maintain the yardstick of the drop in piracy so they can remove the World Risk Insurance. “This is why I said hopefully by the end of September this year, we should be able to rejoice and Nigeria can see a drastic reduction in terms of the freight rates we are paying.”