More signals showing that the hanging but controversial Nigerian waterway security deal allegedly brokered by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), may have died on arrival have emerged.
This is coming as the agency has announced its decision to acquire more intervention vessels to fight crimes on the nation’s waterways.
It would be recalled that since the revelation of the highly contentious contract by the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Nigerians and key stakeholders even the lawmakers have voiced their opposition as it negates the statutory functions of the Nigerian Navy and other security details of the government.
The agency announced in a statement that this followed the recent approval by the Federal Executive Council that the agency could acquire strategic maritime safety and security assets.
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, was quoted as saying that the establishment of a command and control centre was also part of the initiative.
“The four components of the initiative are situational awareness, response capability, law enforcement and local partnerships, and regional cooperation, which are the fulcrum upon which tackling maritime crime will be built,” he stated.
The implementation of NIMASA’s total spectrum maritime strategy, in collaboration with the agency’s partners, according to him, is a panacea for piracy and maritime crimes within Nigerian territorial waters.
Peterside also said that NIMASA would continue to collaborate with the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force, among other partners, to make the country’s waterways safe and secure.
“We are not unmindful of the peculiar environment of the Niger Delta, which poses its own challenge in tackling maritime crimes, especially kidnapping of crew and illegal bunkering that leads to pollution; we will continue to work with the Nigerian Navy and regional organisations to strengthen our regional approach to tackling maritime crimes,” NIMASA boss averred.