The Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC) of the Nigerian Navy has trained 39 policemen in a Basic Marine Operation Course (BMOC) to counter maritime crimes like pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft, among others.
The course, which lasted for 12 weeks, was targeted at developing capacity for marine and riverine operations for personnel of the marine wing of the Nigerian Police.
Although one policeman was dropped for medical reasons, the 39 others included 14 assistant superintendents of police, six inspectors, four sergeants and 16 corporals.
While the BMOC training commander was Captain Livingstone Izu, some of the maritime courses were taught by deputy commander of the Special Boat Services (SBS), Captain Mayowa Olukoya.
In his speech, the NAVTRAC Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, said the graduation was a milestone for the navy and the police.
He said, “Nigeria’s maritime domain remains a strategic asset with enormous resources and potential.
“We equally take cognisance that this natural benefit has been persistently challenged by a myriad of threats that have impinged on Nigeria’s economic wellbeing and national security.
“Some of the major challenges in addressing these crimes have been inadequate trained manpower, procedural errors in arrest, improper evidence management and lack of diligent prosecution on the part of the security agencies.
“A holistic approach in the management of our maritime environment would therefore require a coordinated approach among the security agencies operating within the nation’s maritime domain.
“It also calls for integrated capabilities, doctrine and interoperability. This underscores the need for inter agency collaboration and training.
“In this light, the NNS was tasked to conduct the BMOC for personnel of the NPF and the course is aimed at ensuring that the marine police have a grasp of the necessary skills.”
Also speaking, the Commandant of the school, NNS Quorra, Commodore Francis Isaac, noted that the trainings that the graduands received was the start of their career in the Nigerian marine police operations.
He said, “You have received knowledge and practical experience from the SBS camp, the underwater warfare school and other lectures and presentations.
“Specifically you are here at NNS Quorra auditorium having undergone simulation exercises and practices at various simulation centres, I can tell you that the police will expect more from you.”
Also, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Marine Command, Musa Katsina, while commending the navy, pledged to sustain the tempo.
He said, “This is a window of opportunity for the police to work together, collaborate and synergise with the navy.
“I urge the Federal Government to extend the training to involve other sister agencies like the Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigerian Immigration Service,” katsina stated.
According to the trainer, captain Izu, the training objectives for the BMOC includes inculcating in the marine police their specific areas of operations/jurisdiction in the internal waters, best practices in seamanship, navigation and other specific areas of maritime operations.
The BMOC is meant to enhance the Marine Police capability to conduct operations in support of the NN in the internal waters up to the harbour and port entrances of Nigeria.
It was also gathered that the course is tailored to improve the capacity of the men of the marine police in weapons handling, introduce them to the laws of the seas, search and rescue as well as other elements of chart work and rules of the road.