11 October 2013, Lagos – In a bid to give teeth to its anti-piracy campaign in Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled three patrol boats.
The unveiling of the boats brings to 11, the total number of vessels acquired by the agency. The vessels were acquired through a public private partnership (PPP) arrangement for the purpose of combating piracy and sea robbery on the nation’s waterways.
The boats namely NIMASA Amaseikumor, NIMASA Oglakirigha and NIMASA Oweikenigban were procured by Global West Limited in line with the provisions of the contract it signed with the federal government through NIMASA three years ago.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony which took place at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre (NMRDC) Kirikiri, Apapa, Lagos, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, lauded the agency for stepping up the fight against piracy.
He stressed the need to combat piracy and sea armed robbery on the nation’s waters, pointing out that the procurement of the new boats was designed to achieve such.
According to Umar, efforts have been intensified to secure our maritime domain and beyond through deployment of enforcement and security boats, information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and personnel. This is done by NIMASA in partnership with a service provider form the private sector in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies, which are statutorily responsible to bear arms.
The minister also commended members of the National Assembly particularly, the Senate and the House Committees on Marine Transport for their efforts and partnership.
He also thanked the Nigeria Navy, the Nigerian Air Force, the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Police Force and other security and paramilitary agencies for their continued collaboration with NIMASA to curtail illegalities in Nigerian waters over the years.
Director General of NIMASA, Mr. Ziakede Akpobolokemi, in his remarks at the occasion which attracted several stakeholders in the maritime sector of the economy, said the agency would continue to take concrete steps to check the menace of piracy and other criminal activities in Nigerian maritime domain.
He noted that the agency has continued to discharge its roles and responsibilities as enshrined in the NIMASA Act 2007. He hailed all stakeholders, especially the military and the security agencies, for their support and co-operation for the agency.
– John Iwori, This Day