Maritime security: NIMASA, Navy to improve information sharing

(NAN) Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigeria Navy have made arrangements to improve information sharing through their respective security platforms to enhance maritime security in the country.

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The NIMASA Command, Control, Computer Communication and Information Centre otherwise known as the C4i Centre of the Deep Blue Project along with the Falcon Eye of the Nigerian Navy are undergoing integration.

This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Philip Kyanet, Head, Corporate Communications, NIMASA, made available to newsmen on Sunday.

Kyanet said that thie cooperation was made known when the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Oladele Bamidele Daji led a team of senior officers from the command on a working visit to NIMASA.

He quoted the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, as saying that both agencies had mandates that are interwoven.

Jamoh said that since NIMASA was not an arm bearing organisation, it was important for it to support the Navy with necessary platforms, to be able to optimally safeguard Nigerian waters.

“Just like we did by ensuring that our Special Mission Vessels are manned by men of the Nigerian Navy, we are also looking at the possibility of effectively linking the C4i center at Kikiriki with the Falcon Eye of the Nigerian Navy.

“This is to ensure safety of lives and property for safer shipping in the Nigerian maritime domain, so that the maritime industry remains virile for economic prosperity,” he said.

The NIMASA DG also disclosed that the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) facility at Takwa Bay would become functional very soon.

He said the facility would enhance intelligence gathering and information sharing with the Nigerian Navy.

Jamoh pointed out that this had led to the approval of the establishment of a Naval formation at Takwa Bay.

Speaking on other challenges in the maritime corridor from Navy town to the Harbor in Apapa Lagos, the NIMASA DG noted that activities of unapproved ship scrapping yards were a source of concern.

He said that all identified wrecks would be removed, working with the hydrography department of the Nigerian Navy.

The DG also warned that those involved in such acts would be made to face the full wrath of the law if they failed to desist from indiscriminate scrapping of vessels and the likes.

“We are aware of the challenges wrecks, derelicts and activities of illegal scrap yards pose to our waterways.

“We will share information with the hydrography department of the Nigerian Navy, so appropriate steps which will be in the best interest of the country will be implemented,” he said.

On his part, the FOC Western Naval Command, Rear Adm.  Daji, applauded the already existing relationship between the agency and the Nigerian Navy, stressing the need for continuous information sharing.

He said that it would aid daily operations toward ensuring a safer and secured maritime sector.

The FOC corroborated the stance of the DG on zero tolerance for piracy on the nation’s waterways.

He said that the Navy was prepared to tackle the issues head-on, for the overall good of the maritime sector.

Daji appealed for cooperation with the NIMASA hydrography unit, especially with regards to standard charting of the Nigerian waters as well as mapping out the wrecks.

He said this would go a long way in ensuring unhindered navigation.

Recall that at the inception of this administration, Jamoh and his management team introduced a three-point agenda hinged on Maritime Safety, Security and Shipping Development.

This was to achieve the mandates of NIMASA towards sustaining a robust maritime sector. (NAN)

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