The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has reiterated his commitment to a military led patrol of the country’s maritime waters to curb the rising incidences of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
The NIMASA boss said that the rising issues of piracy has affected the economic fortunes of the country and called on the military to initiate a joint patrol of the maritime domain with a view to decisively curbing this trend.
Dr. Peterside made the disclosure when he led some members of the Management of the Agency on a working visit to the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.
Addressing Service Chiefs separately, Dr. Peterside acknowledged the gallantry of officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the fight against insurgency.
The DG ,who noted that maritime security is a national and international obligation of all stakeholders, also called on the Nigerian Navy to continue with the good job of fighting piracy.
He also assured the CNS of NIMASA’s resolve to strengthen the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Navy in order to eradicate piracy and other criminal activities on Nigerian waters.
While Responding, Vice Admiral Ete-Ibas congratulated Dr. Peterside on his appointment as NIMASA DG and pledged the support of the Nigeria Navy to continue to partner the Agency in maintaining safety and security on Nigerian waters.
The CNS stated that as a strategy to nip the rising cases of piracy, the Nigerian Navy has deployed boat houses at the entry points of the creeks and is in the process of inaugurating a surveillance system being developed by the Office of the National Security Adviser to increase its domain awareness.
At the Army Headquarters, Lt. General Buratai pledged the support of the Amphibious Brigade of the Army to collaborate with the NIMASA and other stakeholders to maintain security on Nigerian waters.
The COAS who noted that the Nigerian Army had he capacity to protect the country’s maritime assets also expressed their commitment to reducing the incidences of piracy, kidnapping and oil theft in the Niger Delta.