Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The Minister of State for Transportation, Sen. Gbemisola Saraki, has 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 in Abuja, when participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course 13 of the National Institute for Security Studies, Lower Usman Dam, paid her a courtesy visit.
While highlighting a three-pronged approach already adopted by the ministry to arrest and persecute offenders, she noted that the ministry had resolved the root cause of the problem and thereby assure ship owners that the Gulf of Guinea is safe for trade.
Saraki in a statement by the Director, Press and Public Relations of the ministry, Mr. Eric Ojiekwe, made available to journalist in Abuja, pointed out that Nigeria was the only country in the region to have a legal framework to deal with piracy, and called on countries in the region and urged 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 had been no collaboration with the institute, directed that relevant officers from Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority 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.
Responding to questions by participants, on issues of sustainability of the achievements in the rail sector, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. S. Zakari, stressed that 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, said equipment needed to secure the region has been acquired and the personnel to man them have been trained.