The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) will soon engage an Israeli firm, HLS International, to fight piracy in the Nigerian waterways.
Mr Dakuku Peterside, the Director-General of the agency said this in an interview with news correspondents in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state, Southern Nigeria on Friday.
According to Peterside, the Federal Government had approved what he called ‘NIMASA Total Spectrum Maritime Security Strategy’ in partnership with the Israeli firm to fight piracy along the waterways.
He explained that the Israeli firm would help train and re-train some security personnel to fight piracy, acquire asset and invest in integrated surveillance tools.
The Director-General said the agency was pursuing dedicated anti-piracy law in order to have a legal backing to engage in the battle ahead:
“When the law is made and the agency intercepts and arrests any sea pirates, it will enable us to prosecute them.”
He noted that the Federal Ministry of Transport was already championing the cause to address the underutilization of Nigerian ports, adding that a special committee had been set up to identify infrastructure needs and ascertain NIMASA’s security issues.
The agency had also inaugurated more vessels to trade within Nigeria’s coastal space as before now, foreign vessels had dominated the space.
His words: “But today we have lots more of Nigerians owning Nigerian flag vessels trading within our coastal water.”
Amaka E. Nliam