The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) have collectively reiterated their stands against the operation of a private security firm at the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) on the nation’s maritime domain, saying such an arrangement leads to increases in the cost of shipping.
Both organizations also have agreed to work out modalities for the effective removal of all wrecks and derelicts that may hinder navigations in the Nigerian waters.
These positions were made by the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and the Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman when Usman paid a visit to Jamoh at the NIMASA head office in Apapa, yesterday.
While speaking, Hadiza Bala Usman, NPA Managing Director, said NIMASA and NPA as sister agencies should be seen to be collaborating more for the growth of the maritime industry and the country generally and disclosed that arrangements were in top gear to berth the NIMASA floating Dockyard permanently in order for it to commence operations in July.
According to her, ‘’both agencies have agreed to work out modalities for effective removal of all wrecks and derelicts that may hinder navigations in the Nigerian waters.
“We had a range of discussions bordering on the Secure Anchorage Area which our supervising Ministry desires the Deep Blue Project to provide security for all anchorage areas in the country. Aside from saving the country a lot of money, it will ensure that the security of the Nigerian Maritime domain is given focal attention”.
Hadiza also disclosed that both agencies agreed to interlink the C3i of the NPA and C4i of NIMASA in order to interchange information that would assist the Nigerian Navy’s response to security.
“We have the C3i Command, Control and Intelligence center at NPA and NIMASA has the c4i while the Navy has falcon eye. We need to interlink these facilities and we believe that this would assist the country in response to maritime security threats”.
According to Bashir Jamoh, “There is absolutely no need for us to have private security in our maritime space. You are aware that this increases the cost of shipping in our country. By the time the Deep Blue Project becomes fully operational, the cost of shipping would drastically reduce”.
Jamoh said the Secure Anchorage Area which has been a subject of debate amongst stakeholders would now be covered under the multi-spectrum security architecture popularly known as the Deep Blue Project.
“There is absolutely no need for us to have private security in our maritime space. You are aware that this increases the cost of shipping in our country. By the time the Deep Blue Project becomes fully operational, the cost of shipping would drastically reduce”.
The NIMASA DG also pointed out that barring any unforeseen circumstances, the floating Dockyard should be operational by the end of July. A facility he said will employ hundreds of Nigerians directly and also earn a huge amount in revenue for the country.
“We are finalizing arrangements with the NPA to get a permanent berth for the floating Dockyard and by the end of July, this facility should be operational. The interesting thing is that aside from earning a huge amount of revenue, it also has the capacity to employ over 300 Nigerian youths directly”.