The Nigerian Navy (NN) has assured that it would continue to protect the nation’s maritime domain.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Adm. Ibok-Ete Ibas, said this in his welcome address at the Nigeria Security Expo/Conference (NISEC) in Abuja.
Ibas was represented by the Director of Plans, Naval Headquarters, Rear Adm. Aliyu Lawal.
The Theme of the conference is: “Building National Security Capacity on Maritime and Ports Security, Counter-Piracy and Protection of Remote Critical National Assets”.
Ibas said NN would do everything possible to continue to protect the nation’s critical assets, the maritime domain, against the activities of the sea pirates and any other criminality.
The CNS explained that the nation’s lifeline was sea-based, therefore, it had become necessary to protect such area as the core mandate of the service was to protect the nation’s critical national assets.
Ibas explained further that the service had so far embarked on series of operations such as “Operation Tsare Teku” , “Operation Safe Delta” and “Operation Pouncer”.
These, he said, were all geared toward making the nation’s waterways free from the activities of sea pirates and any other illegal businesses going on in the area.
The CNS said the service had embarked on training of its personnel in various areas to enhance their professional responsibilities of protecting the nation’s maritime domain for good.
He promised to give the necessary support to NISEC and any other organisations that were out to chart the way forward in the protection of the nation’s maritime domain and other critical assets.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said media had a critical role to play in the protection of the nation’s assets.The minister was represented by the Director-General of Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) , Malam Yakubu Mohammed.
He said the media had a duty to report what was right, objective and balance reports about what was going on in the nation’s maritime domain and not the other way round.
“The media must rise to confront the issue of hate speeches, and must do it without fear or favour if our getting it right is anything to go by,” he said.
The Chief of Nembe in Bayelsa, Mr Edmund Daukoru, said traditional rulers should be involved in the protection of the nation’s maritime domain.
Daukoru said further that the local vigilante group should also be involved in the surveillance of the nation’s waterways.He said this would go a long way in complementing the efforts of the agency whose core mandate was the protection of the the nation’s maritime domain
Also, the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, urged the NN, stakeholders in maritime and other relevant organisations to lay more emphasis on information gathering being the key to maritime surveillance.