Lagos — The Port Facility Security Officers, PFSO, Forum of the Lagos Maritime Security Zone, MSZ, has advocated for the integration of the various maritime command control centres across the country noting that their individuality has not helped in curbing criminal activities in the nation’s coastal and territorial waters.
Speaking at the 120th meeting of the Forum in Lagos, its Chairman, Dr. Ignatius Uche said that the need to integrate these centres cannot be overemphasized.
According to Uche, there are about three different maritime command control centres in Lagos namely, the Nigerian Ports Authority, maritime domain centre, the maritime domain centre of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, at their search and rescue centre in Kirikiri, Lagos and the Presidential Committee On maritime Security and Safety, PICOMMS located by the Bar Beach, in Lagos.
Uche explained that millions of dollars invested in these maritime command control centre that is wasting away and prayed that the various government agencies will see the sense in collaborating with each other.
He said “All we need to do is to have the integration of these maritime commands and control centres, there must be a synergy between all of them so that they will not only detect illegal maritime activities on our waters, they can respond to threats when they are being detected.
“We have had cases where vessels are being attacked and for hours there was no response, so we have these state of the Art command and control centres but they are not being harnessed, they are not properly utilized, we need to integrate them.
“The Falcon eye, the NIMASA’s command and control centre, the maritime domain centre of the Nigerian Ports Authority and even the one at the Bar Beach that is just lying fallow and wasting away.
“What we need from the facilities is optimal utilization, they are not being utilized optimally because of the capacity to detect any illegal activity going on in our maritime domain but as we speak, threats are still going on undetected and un-arrested.
“Just last week, a vessel coming into Nigerian waters was attacked and six crew members kidnapped.
“So the challenge is optimal utilization and not that the infrastructures are not there, they are there”