Following the on ending activities of the sea pirates and other crime in the Nigerian territorial waterways, expert has urged the Federal Government to establish Maritime Security Agency Act (MASECA) to enhanced the security architecture on the waterways.
Captain Jacob Ovweghre, Director General of Maritime Security Agency, was optimistic that the act when established will help to, not only address the issues of sea piracy but will also boost the revenue accrued from the maritime sector.
“Establishing maritime Security Agency Act (MASECA) is centered on intelligent gathering, cover the territorial sea, coastal area, inland waterways, backwaters to the limit of Lake Chad. It will boost the nation security architecture, generate funds and employ thousands of youths”, he said.
On the agencies that are responsible for the security on the waterways, he said:” first lets define waterways. Waterways is any natural routes on water, be it maritime, shipping route or inland waters. So, from the above, it is agencies but not agency responsible for maritime security.
NAVY (ministry of Defence), Nigeria Maritime and safety Agency NIMASA, ( Ministry of Transport), Nigerian police Maritime Command ( ministry of Interior) and others. However, the NAVY is solely responsible for external aggression and piracy as their enforcement duty.
He maintained that security on the nation waterways has not changed since the present administration.
“The waterway is not saved. International Maritime Bureau of 2018 February declared Nigeria’s Territorial water and the Gulf of Guinea not safe for merchant ship due to the incessant pirate attacks.”
“Nevertheless, we must give kudos to the NAVY for their gallantry efforts so far. This is why we of the maritime security Agency want to complement the good work they are doing in Nigeria.
On the issue of loses as a result of sea piracy he said: “it is not thinking, it is a fact that the Federal Government is counting heavy losses from the sea pirates as well as from other maritime crimes. The international maritime Bureau label Nigeria’s Territorial waters and Gulf of Guinea now as worse than the Horn of Somalia and Indian Ocean.
“This tells it all, sea piracy and other maritime crime are responsible for the dwelling and nose dive of the nation maritime industry in it’s totally. Take the Nigerian fishing companies whose trawlers disappeared from the Nigerian Territorial water due to insecurity.
“The major cause is the natural mineral deposit like crude oil and its exploration in the Nigerian territorial waters and Gulf of Guinea. Secondly, the over burden on Nigeria NAVY, NIMASA and other maritime security using the same method and same Agencies, no distinguished effective synergy of Navies in the high sea among West African states”.
On the best approach to addressing the issue of piracy, he said “Nigerians should adopt the changes in maritime security using the US and Pakistan’s approach/ method. The NAVY and NIMASA should cover the contagious Territorial sea backward to the Lake Chad complementing one another”.
He added that was advantageous to fix the ports across the nation. “There are a lot of benefits. Take the Eastern port with maritime security, the activities of the port will blossom and come back to life. The security will reduce incessant death resulting from piracy attack and sea robbery.
“It will make shipping companies make gain and pay less insurance. More business will thrive; there will be mass employment the people and peace in the maritime environment as well as for the residents.
The post Stakeholders Urges FG To Establish MASECA On Waterways appeared first on Independent Newspapers Nigeria.
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Author: Daniel Abia