The Federal Government has expressed concern over the persistent security threats confronting the nation’s maritime sector, insisting that pirates attacks seem to be eroding the achievements in the industry.
The Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), Boss Mustapha said this yesterday at the 2018 World Maritime Day celebration held in Lagos.
With the theme IMO at 70 “Our heritage: Better shipping for better future”, the event was aimed at celebrating the achievements of IMO member states in ensuring safety of the maritime domain.
The SFG who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of State for Works, Power and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri noted that the maritime industry in Nigeria and indeed globally has come under siege by criminal elements who orchestrate acts of piracy, arms proliferation, crude oil theft, and others.
Mustapha explained that the gains recorded via dredging, amnesty and port concession exercises in Nigeria nosedived due to the unfortunate scenario thus compelling some foreign shipping companies to request for Government’s approval to enter Nigeria’s territorial waters with armed security personnel onboard.
He said that despite the challenges Government was not taking the issue of safety and security in the Maritime sector lightly as it js also aware that the maritime industry must be protected to attract foreign investors and also preserve Nigeria‘s territorial integrity.
In his opening remark, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi disclosed that concerted efforts are being made by government to strengthen the institutional capabilities of Agencies responsible for providing maritime security in Nigeria’s maritime domain and around the Gulf of Guinea region.
He said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the procurement of new security architecture for the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which involves the acquisition of new platforms and other logistics required to enable the Agency perform its statutory functions of securing the Nigerian waters in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy.