Insecurity in maritime industry worries Amaechi — solicits support of stakeholders to defeat the menace

Insecurity in maritime industry worries Amaechi — solicits support of stakeholders to defeat the menace
Abiola Seun    |  

The Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi has called for synergy among stakeholders in the maritime industry to tackle insecurity in the nation’s water.

Amaechi said this in Lagos on Thursday on the occasion of the 2020 World Maritime Day, with the theme, “Sustainable Shipping For Sustainable Planet.”

Amaechi, who joined the event virtually from Abuja, also identified the secure anchorage issue as one that required greater understanding and transparency on the part of stakeholders.

According to him, it is only synergy among stakeholders that could end the security challenge in the country’s waters and called for synergy among stakeholders in tackling the problem.

Speaking also at the occasion, the Director General of Nigerian  Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)Dr. Bashir  Jamoh restated the Federal government’s commitment to the security of the country’s marine environment through the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project.

Jamoh said over 85 per cent of the assets needed for the project’s full take off had arrived the country, stressing that the training process for officers that would man the various equipment is being concluded.

According to him, “The determination of the Agency to ensure sustainable use of the seas and oceans is clearly demonstrated by our establishment in 2008 of a specialised department in charge of marine environment management.

“With the current collaboration between NIMASA, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Police, and other security agencies, I am convinced that the future of maritime security in the country is very bright.”

He further reiterated that the agency’s commitment was to get Nigeria waters free from all maritime crimes.

“Our aim is to get the Nigerian waters free from any crimes and we are working hard to achieve that. All the security agencies are giving us the maximum cooperation because we cannot do it alone.
” We are also appealing to the stakeholders to give us a helping hand by reporting all the incidents so that together we can succeed in this.
“The issue of piracy and sea robbery on our sea is a global issue and what we are doing now as you are aware is that the federal government has signed the contract of provision of platforms for us to arrest this situation also known as the blue project.
“We have received 85 percent of the assets which include two special mission vessels, 17 interceptors’ vessels, two special mission helicopters and C41s. We have been going round other agencies including the Nigerian Navy, police and others that will help in ensuring that we maintain security.

“Under the SPOMO Act, we have arrested 10 in Lagos, they are still under trial in the Federal High Court and we hope before the end of October, we will see the result of that.

” We also arrested nine in Port Harcourt and out of nine, three admitted guilty and they have been sentenced while the six will continue with the trial. We have seven in Calabar, which case will come up by month end.  We are headway but we are yet to get there, “the NIMASA DG said.

In her welcome address, the Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, said the event provided an opportunity for the country to focus attention on the crucial role of the maritime industry in the attainment of the SDGs.

 Saraki said the maritime sector was replete with both opportunities and challenges, noting that the country must find sustainable ways of profitable utilisation of its huge maritime resources.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, in her own remarks, emphasised the importance of sustainable use of the seas and oceans.

Orelope-Adefulire said a sustainable blue economy would unlock the full economic opportunities of the oceans, seas, lakes, rivers and other water resources through investment, while protecting the environment for future generations.

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