By Eromosele Abiodun
The federal government has said that it will collaborate with the new management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to ensure adequate security within Nigeria’s waterways.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated this, weekend in Lagos at the commissioning of NPA’s Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence System (CCCIS).
CCCIS is a cutting edge security technology, capable of tracking, recording and delivering ships movements within the country’s ports domain.
The facility, the minister stated, will significantly boost the nation’s security and ensure increased revenue from the sector.
He said: “With the installation, maritime activities within and beyond the six Nigerian Ports of Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Onne, Warri can now be meticulously monitored, simultaneously in Lagos. This achievement is a remarkable milestone in the development of the nation’s port operational system.
It is pertinent to note that the development of this facility began with an approval in 2013 with the aim of providing business Intelligence for the movement of vessels and Cargoes, as well as providing improved and secured communications within our waterways. It will lead to enhancement of efficiency within the nation’s seaports.”
The minister explained that the infrastructure comprises “long and short range video surveillance monitoring systems, as well as several other software applications which are in line with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Ships and Ports Security (ISPS) Code.”
Amaechi assured the international community that Nigeria as an IMO member remained committed to upholding the thrust of the organisation in the areas of safety, security, environmental protection and trade facilitation.
He stressed that he was not in doubt that the, “conceptualisation, development and installation of the CCCIS by the NPA will in no small way promote the ratings of our ports, by the IMO.”
Speaking earlier, the Managing Director of NPA, Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman said by virtue of the facility the NPA as a worthy stakeholder, would now be capable of assisting the country to surmount security and safety challenges, within Nigeria and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
This, she stated, is alongside the capability of an interface with other relevant stakeholders, to track as well as record maritime security breaches.
“This technology will enable the Nigerian Ports Authority, not just to generate adequate revenue, but also to ensure that all revenue leakages are blocked, in furtherance of the federal government efforts towards revitalising our economy. Let me reiterate that in the days ahead, the NPA will be playing pro-active roles in the digital space, ensuring that there is synergy and collaboration amongst relevant agencies such as the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and other security and intelligence agencies, for the purpose of sharing information, documentation to enhance maritime safety, security, as well as block revenue leakages, “she said.
She added: “It is pertinent to note that this project comprises of the Marine Operational Centre (MOC), which will enable the actual monitoring of vessels ; the Network Operations Centre (NOC) which is the support; and infrastructure data base, that stores all information, including recorded videos.”
The facility, she added, covers maritime activities in the nation’s six ports and four pilotage districts. She added that the facility should be seen as a running project, representing a journey, and not a destination.
“It will incorporate other port automotive devices, like the Vessel Traffic System (VTS) pursuant to the IMO prescription on SOLAS and the Integrated Port Community Information System (IPCIS), with the ultimate goal of establishing an automated Single Window System (SWS).”