Transportation Minister Rotimi AMAECHI, took a retrospective look at the challenges facing Nigeria’s Maritime Security architecture and concluded that there could be no better time than now to have a functional Coast Guard.
AMAECHI made the disclosure while contributing to a lecture titled ” Ensuring Safe and Secure Water ways Transportation ” presented by Rear Admiral AA Oshinowo. Amaechi was speaking at the World Maritime Day which held Monday at Eko Hotel and Suites Lagos with the theme “Connecting Sips, Ports and People. The minister explained all stakeholders must come together and agree on the methodology to create an enabling environment for a full fledged Coast Guard.
Said AMAECHI, ” We cannot call the present collaboration between NIMASA , the Navy and Air force as a Coast Guard. I think NIMASA could transform to a Coast Guard if we amend the NIMASA and the Armed Forces Acts”, he said .
He explained that the present laws do not give NIMASA powers beyond the brown waters while the Navy takes charge of the blue. The minister also explained that an Israeli security firm have been invited by the Federal Government to take over the security of the nation’s Maritime domain and they would competent Nigerians to curtail the rising cases of piracy within Nigeria’s territorial waters.
Admiral Oshinowo had in his paper lamented the frustration in bringing sea pirates to book as Nigerians await the passage of the anti piracy law.