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Bill for establishment of Nigerian Merchant Navy Coast Guards underway



Chinazor Megbolu    |

A bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Coast Guard Security and Safety Corps is underway.

The bill, which is being sponsored by a Federal Lawmaker representing Idanre/Ifedore Federal Constituency, Hon. Tajudeen Adefisoye has passed through its first reading last Tuesday.
The initiative, which was disclosed during a plenary session, presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, is aimed securing the safety of Nigerian coastal and inland waterways.
The house noted that the bill, if passed into law, would stem the high tide of sea piracy on the country’s water highway and also serve as a means of employment opportunities for thousands of unemployed Nigerian youths.
The lawmakers also hinted, the bill is also expected to drastically reduce the astronomic level of vandalism witnessed on the nation’s waterways and high sea.
During the session, they pointed out that the bill, going by the latest statistics of more than 5,000 vessels operating in the nation’s seas,would further provide an opportunity for direct employment for several thousand of Nigerian youth as seafarers.
The house explained further that it will help to curtail illegal importation of sophisticated weapons into the country through the sea as well as prevent further proliferation of arms.
They pointed out that establishing the security agency would help to perform anti-smuggling duties by helping in the enforcement of customs laws.
The house, however, highlighted further that the bill, if passed into law, will also see to the effective performance of anti-piracy operations, ensure the performance of anti-illegal fishery, participate in internal security operations to aid civil authority and restore peace and resolution of conflict between oil companies and host communities.
Others includes; economic stability, ensuring conducive environment for foreign investors in the maritime and oil sectors, funds reduction the spent yearly on the repair of vandalised pipelines as well as billions spent in the upstream and downstream sector.
The house, however, averred
that the enactment of the bill will further help to reduce the burden placed on Nigerian Navy and shifting the responsibility paradigm towards maintaining a definite approach to the issue of maritime insecurity in the gulf of Guinea amongst others.

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