27 July 2014, Lagos – As part of efforts to tackle the menace of pirate attacks in Nigeria’s territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has established a satellite surveillance centre.
Disclosing this in Lagos, NIMASA’s Director of Shipping Development, Capt Waredi Enisuor said that the surveillance centre can track every vessels entering or leaving the country.
Enisuor also disclosed that the centre can also detect vessels under attack and respond accordingly to either ward off such attacks or rescue distressed ships.
He explained that the surveillance is satellite based and so does not need power to sustain itself.
Explaining further, the Ship and aircraft captain said the centre has the ability to print out particulars and details of vessels on both the nation’s territorial and coastal waters on a daily basis.
He further disclosed that the satellite centre has made it possible to effect the arrest of about five vessels involved in illegal activities.
He said “By the establishment of the satellite surveillance centre, Nigeria can record zero tolerance before the end of 2015.
“ The surveillance centre can also detect when a ship enters Nigerian waters and falsified her International Maritime Organisation (IMO) number”.
He also lamented the shortage of military personnel to assist NIMASA in responding to distress calls and suspected attacks.
He opined that with the success recorded in bringing down the rate of piracy in Nigeria, the country can now bargain for better recognition at the IMO. Speaking in similar vein, NIMASA’s Director General, Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi said “For any sustainable and meaningful growth in the maritime sector, a robust maritime domain awareness system is inevitable.
“Our desire is to provide a safety net for all those doing business within Nigerian waters,.
“With the NIMASA satellite surveillance center, which was launched last month, the agency is now able to respond to any distress call on Nigerian waters and beyond”.