Recently, the International Bureau of Maritime beamed its searchlight on Nigerian inland and coastal waters with the conclusion that piracy and pirate activities had nose-dive drastically in Nigeria. Base on that information, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA) came with its interpretation that Nigerian waters are now safe for any kind of investments.
Although it is cheery enough to hear that the activities of the miscreants is now at a low ebb, we want to tell the nation’s maritime administration that it is not yet uhuru and it should keep its megaphone until a time when the country’s waters will be given a total clean bill of health.
We want to quickly urge NIMASA to now galvanize effort with its long- time ally, the Navy, with which it formed the maritime guard, a detachment of the navy now domiciled in NIMASA with the aim of ensuring an enduring safety on the Nigerian waters.
The guard was not put in place to protect the leadership of the agency as we saw during the last leadership dispensation. The personnel of the outfit are not to be seen parading themselves around NIMASA headquarters, but should embark on effective patrol of the waters with superior weapons and adequate intelligence to ensure the captivity of those who are making our waters unsafe.
In this case, adequate budgetary allocation should be made to procure enough patrol boats and the needed weapons to ward off the miscreants from the waters. And when this had been done the procurement must be monitored for transparency.
The then agency helmsman, who initiated the maritime guard, which successive helmsmen inherited had a vision and it is to eradicate and eliminate these waterside hoodlums to make not only for easy navigation, but other coastal and inland investments secured. The Naval formation in NIMASA came on the heels of incessant killings and hijacking of vessels that made operators of international ocean liners to imposed security charges as a king of insurance for their vessel booked to make voyage into Nigeria.
We appreciate the recent efforts that culminated in the present condition on our waters, yet there is need to surpass the current level and giving navigation and other activities on the waters a boost by making them a safe haven that will eventually make Nigeria a destination for investment in Maritime, oil and gas exploration and businesses.
Therefore, as we salute those who made it possible for the record we are all celebrating today, we want to ask them not to rest on their oars, so as to avoid a push back in the long run!