The Federal Government, the United Nations Development Programme and Japan have resolved to unite against piracy in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea which is aiding oil theft in the country.
They stated this in Abuja during the launching of a national policy titled: ‘Enhancing National Capacities for Counter-Violent Extremism, Anti-Piracy and Protection of Civilians’.
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, said the government’s policies and investment in the Nigeria Armed Forces counter-terrorism and international community’s efforts had gone a long way in combatting the menace.
Agba, represented by Victoria Olulade, said the policy was aimed at building capacities of civilians to combat extreme terrorism.
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Commandant, Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre, Maj.-Gen. Emmanuel Undiandeye, said the policy would promote protection of civilians caught in violent environments while trying to reduce violence.
Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security, UNDP, Matthew Alao, said the project became imperative given the challenges posed by violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel as well as piracy in Gulf of Guinea countries to the economic prosperity and socio-economic wellbeing of the governments and the citizens of the affected countries.
He noted that the Japanese Government had funded 15 projects in Nigeria since 2015 with “over US$27.58m, the biggest funding in Africa”.
The Japanese Defence Attache, Lt.-Col. Uchiumi, said the Government of Japan, together with Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre and the UNDP, had been implementing projects related to counter-piracy.