Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, yesterday in Abuja called on security agencies and other stakeholders to continue to collaborate with the ministry to provide the needed impetus and synergy to tackle the rate of violent crimes in the Gulf of Guinea.
The minister made the call when participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 at the National Institute for Security Studies, Lower Usman Dam, paid her a courtesy visit in Abuja.
While highlighting a three-pronged approach already adopted by the ministry to arrest and persecute offenders, she noted that the ministry has resolved the root cause of the problem, assuring ship owners that the Gulf of Guinea is safe for trade.
Saraki, in a statement by the ministry’s Director, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Eric Ojiekwe, and made available to journalists in Abuja, pointed out that Nigeria is the only country in the region to have a legal framework to deal with piracy, and called on countries in the region and participants at the Global Maritime Security Conference organised by the ministry and its agencies in 2019 to implement decisions reached at the summit.
The minister, who observed that hitherto there has been no collaboration with the institute, directed that relevant officers from Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and non-pool staff in Maritime Departments in the ministry be drafted to be trained in the institute to provide the manpower needed to combat violent crimes at sea.
She, however, advocated the support of relevant agencies to make the approaches work.
Earlier, the Commandant of the Institute, Mr. Adeboye Adeleke, said the institute which started in 2008 has the mandate to train management staff of security agencies on security issues.
Responding to questions by participants on issues of sustainability of the achievements in the rail sector, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. S. Zakari, said outside the contract given to China Civil Engineering Construction Company, the ministry insisted that China trains about 150 young people in China on railway engineering to man the railways after they deliver the project.
On the issue of tackling insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, the permanent secretary added that equipment needed to secure the region had been acquired and the personnel to man them had been trained.