The Nigerian Navy in Lagos on Thursday inaugurated the Maritime Safety Information(MSI) portal and Data Centre to boost marine security in the country’s waterways.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas, who inaugurated the data centre, said its establishment would secure the maritime domain and in turn boost Nigeria’s economy.
Ibas was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah.
He said, “Robust Maritime activities cannot thrive without security and safety, which largely depends on the availability of accurate and timely hydrographic data and information.
“This data can be in form of nautical charts, be it paper and electronic navigational charts as well as navigational warnings about uncharted dangers which needs to be dessiminated quickly to facilitate safe conducts of maritime activities.
“With the establishment of these portal, I enjoin all stakeholders to cooperate and utilise this facility for promotion of safety and security in Nigeria’s maritime environment.”
Ibas said the portal would ensure timely collation, processing and dissemination of real time navigational warnings and other safety information to mariners operating within the country.
“With our waters safe and secure, robust maritime activities will thrive, which will boost Nigeria’s economy and ultimately improve the general well-being of all Nigerians,”he said.
Earlier, the hydrographer of the navy, Commodore Emeka Okafor, during his welcome address, said that accurate dissemination of hydrographic information to mariners was central to facilitating security within the maritime domain.
“This MSI portal and data centre is intended to provide navigational warnings of uncharted dangers and meterological forecasts to mariners navigating within Nigerian waters.
“On the other hand, mariners would be able to easily reach out to the hydrographers to report any uncharted features observed during their voyage within the Nigerian waters which may constitute danges to navigation,”he said.
Okafor said that the world was currently divided into 21 navigational areas,adding that Nigeria was under Navigational Area 2.
He said that Nigeria, through the establishment of the portal had fufiled a critical International Hydrographuc Organisation’s requirement for the development of hydrography.