By ZION Olalekan
Nigerian seafarers under the aegis of Merchant Navy Water Transporters Senior Staff Association has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to deploy its satellite surveillance equipment on Nigerian waters in order to curb the rising tide of piracy.
Deputy Secretary General of the group, Comrade John Okpono in a chat with our correspondent said it was disappointing that NIMASA despite its announcement of having the gadget has failed to put it to good use.
Okpono also called for interagency collaboration among security agencies including the Nigerian Navy, Marine Customs and Marine Police in order to determine each agency’s jurisdiction and area of coverage.
According to him, it is not enough for NIMASA to be announcing to the world that it has the surveillance system, but that there is need to put it to use.
“What happens in other countries is that they deploy these facilities and satellites to monitor the waterways.
“To have it is one thing, the effective use of it is something else, it is like you having a vehicle and you kept it locked up in your garage, you don’t know how to drive and you don’t want to employ a driver, you are as good as not having any. So if you have the facility to monitor the water and it is not functioning, it means you don’t have it.
“Navy, Customs, Marine Police , sometimes you ask yourself how do they all work, what is the collaboration, these are on the territorial waters for safety of the seafarers, but is there any collaboration between them, the inter-agency collaboration is not there, they only go to sea to look for what they are not supposed to?
“They should share themselves according to the nautical miles to know where each stands and ends, there should be jurisdiction” he said.
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