25 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Lagos – The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has assured the Nigerian Navy that it would strengthen the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two agencies, to make the waters unsafe for pirates.
NIMASA’s Director General Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi disclosed this when he received the Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba who led top echelon of the Navy to NIMASA on a courtesy visit to the agency and also promised to provide more platforms like patrol boats and equipment that would help to sustain the war against pirates.
Akpobolokemi told the Naval boss that NIMASA would also increase budgetary allocation to the Navy for the protection of the nation’s territorial waters against the perpetration of illegalities.
Akpobolokemi said that NIMASA is ready to complement the effort of the navy in ensuring that piracy and other menacing factors on the nation’s territorial waters come to an end.
The Director General affirmed that with the appointment of the new Chief of Naval Staff, piracy and other nefarious activities within the nation’s maritime domain will be a thing of the past.
“We are rest assured that the Navy is up to the task and that is not to say that there are no challenges. Amidst the challenges, we are quite optimistic that the navy under your leadership is going to improve tremendously and also the security of our maritime domain is going to get a very big boost.
“Whatever we in NIMASA will do to complement the effort as part of our primary role in safeguarding the nation’s territorial waters we are going to partner with you,” the Director General said.
Harping on the need to sustain the NIMASA/Navy relationship in the fight against piracy and sea robbery, the NIMASA boss stressed that, ‘we are not interested in coastguard to protect our territorial waters’.
In his reaction the Naval chief said that the navy is ready to address security challenges that abound in the maritime domain as far as the necessary platforms are in place, adding that with the right empowerment, piracy will be a thing of the past.
He said that there is understanding between both government outfits to ensure safety on the nation’s coast and expressed optimism that the partnership with NIMASA will bring an end to illegalities on the nation’s waters.
Ezeoba reiterated that the partnership with NIMASA will be strengthened in all ramifications to ensure that both agencies can deliver on the President’s mandate to eradicate all forms of illegalities on the nation’s water which includes primarily, crude oil theft, illegal bunkering and piracy.