Safe, Secure Waterways Will Boost Maritime Transportation - NIMASA DG
Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says safe and secured waterways will boost maritime transportation in Nigeria and in the continent.
Peterside made this assertion at the ongoing Global Maritime Security Conference in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, Safety of waterways is paramount in maintaining a good water transport system
''Without safety and security of our waterways you cannot talk about maritime transportation. Seaborne transportation flourishes where the waterways are safe and secure.
'' And so a key component of addressing, or maximising or optimising if you choose, the opportunities inherent in maritime transportation is addressing the issue of security and safety and that is one of the reasons for this conference.
''How best we manage our waterways to ensure it is safe and secured for economic activities to flourish
Peterside said that crime occurred from time to time, but becomes of concern when it was no longer tolerable.
He said member states in the region had agreed to deal with the issue of insecurity of waterways from its roots and had developed initiatives to ensure this.
According to the NIMASA boss, no waterways in the World is security proof.
''At the continental level, we have the African integrated maritime security strategy and the Lome Charter that was done in 2016.
''At the regional level, we have the ECOWAS maritime strategy, regional coordination centre and several other initiatives.
''At the National level, we have different initiatives to tackle maritime insecurity.
"All of the strategy speaks to the fact that we are being proactive and that we will not accept any form of threat to our maritime domain particularly the use of our waterways for shipping and for economic activities," Peterside said.
The NIMASA boss said there have been improvement through these strategies as recent records had shown a drop in maritime crime and piracy in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.
He reiterated the need for more partnership and collaboration between relevant stakeholders to tackle the maritime insecurity menace in the region. (NAN)