The Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) Forum, of the Lagos Maritime Security Zone, has described the upsurge in the attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea as national challenge. At the group’s January 2020 meeting in Lagos, its Chairman; Dr. Ignatius Uche, also attributed the spike to the poor state of the economy of nations within the Gulf of Guinea region.
He argued that the figures of maritime piracy as released by international agencies throw a challenge at all relevant government security agencies, even as he stated that the tide must be stemmed.
“Piracy is a national challenge that could be attributed to the state of the economy and the level of poverty among the youths, however, the Forum will continue to influence the relevant government agencies to continue to do the needful to ensure the tide is stemmed”, he assured.
Uche also said that the Forum will continue to engage and support the designated authority which is the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, to ensure that vessels were safe and secured at the various berths.
Earlier in a presentation, Uche called for the extension of the tenure of the Port Facility Security Assessment (PFSA) and Port Facility Security Programme (PFSP), adding that NIMASA is currently addressing the issue.
Outlining the responsibilities of PFSOs, Uche said that it was the responsibility of the NIMASA to approve training programmes for Recognized Security Organizations, RSOs, and Port Facility Security Officers, PFSOs.
He also noted that the designated PFSO advises on the level of security threats likely to be encountered by carrying out a security survey and assessment and develops and maintains a security plan.
He stated: “Duties and Responsibilities of a PFSO includes implementation of all the provisions of the PFSP and carrying out regular security inspections to assess the level of compliance. He also modifies and reviews the security plan whenever necessary.
“He is to enhance security awareness training and education of the security personnel and other stakeholders and education. He also sets and enforces security standards for the guard force and other stakeholders.
“He reports all situations and incidences in his/her Terminal/Facility and coordinates with government security agencies”, he stressed.