The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has concluded plans on how to properly secure deep water oil installations and the country’s inner waters.
Part of the arrangement it has put in place is the recent strategic collaboration it has with both the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Airforce respectively.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, who made this disclosure at the recently held ministerial press conference in Abuja, said that while the Nigerian Navy, in conjunction with Global West Vessel, are to provide constant patrol of Nigerian waterways, the Nigerian Airforce is to provide aerial surveillance patrol.
“The Director General, Patrick Akpobolokemi, on behalf of the agency entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Navy, and the Nigerian Airforce. The airforce is to utilise their constant air surveillance system in safeguarding the nation’s assets located at sea,” he said.
Umar further stated that aside the MoU which the agency has with the Nigerian Armed Forces, it has also adopted a Public Private Partnership with Global West Vessel to further strengthen the security situation in the maritime domain through the provision of fast intervention boats and aircraft.
“NIMASA entered into a PPP arrangement with Global West Vessel Specialist West African Limited which resulted in acquisition of about 28 patrol boats that have been duly deployed to different parts of Nigerian waters. This is aimed at enhancing maritime safety. It has also helped to enhance flag and port state administration, search and rescue operations, and coastal patrol, which have in turn helped in reducing the incidences of piracy and armed robbery at sea,” he added.
The minister further stated that NIMASA has successfully deployed 24-hour satellite surveillance system which has the capacity to detect boats, ships or any floating objects within and around the nation’s territorial waters, up to the entire Gulf of Guinea.
“This system, has the ability to identify vessel that decide to switch-off her AIS. It would trigger an alarm on suspicious activities of those vessels. This satellite surveillance system has helped in supporting search and rescue efforts in nine countries within the Gulf of Guinea region,” Umar said.
Senator Umar explained that NIMASA has being in the forefront of ensuring that adequate security is provide at the various ports and terminals by both terminal operators and owners of jetties.