Nigerian Territorial water
The Federal Government has restated its commitment to protect the country’s territorial waters.
The FG also said it would ensure safety and security of navigation and the protection of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.
Minister of Transport, Mallam Idris Umar gave the assurance, at the 2012 International Maritime Organisation (IMO) World Maritime Day on the theme: “100 Years after the Titanic”, which took place in the Cross River State, Calabar.
Umar said one of the challenges to safety of navigation was the threat posed by piracy and armed robbery in most territorial waters including Nigeria’s.
The minister noted that the government was worried by the increasing cases of piracy of the maritime industry and sea robbery both in Nigeria and across the global shipping community.
He, however, assured that the government is working out measures to address these challenges.
He maintained that government would continuously place the safety and security of the maritime domain in the front burner.
“In this respect, concerted efforts have been made to ensure adequate safety and security mechanisms in Nigeria’s maritime domain. It was partly in response to this that the President recently hosted a presidential retreat on the maritime industry with the theme: Harnessing the potential of the maritime industry for sustainable economic development”, he said.
Umar also disclosed that some robust strategies were being put in place to effectively contain these challenges, one of them being the setting up of an Inter-agency Maritime Coordination Committee with membership drawn from the Federal Ministry of Transport, the Navy, the State Security Service, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority, the National Inland Waterways Authority and Customs.
The government, according to him, is also currently leveraging on the improvement in technology to shore up capacity in the surveillance, monitoring and enforcement, which is in line with her port state control responsibility to protect the marine environment from pollution and substandard ships and promoting the working condition of shipboard officers and crew by making concerted efforts to allocate adequate resource to increase inspection up to 15 percent of ship calls.
The minister noted that the essence of the event was to draw the attention of the 6.5 billion world population to the safety and security challenges that ships and the seafarers face in providing services for the wellbeing of the world population.