Do you think Maritime Security Contract with HSLi can Ameliorate Pirate attacks on Nigerian Waters?

Capt Abel Ogah (Director, Merchant Navy Directorate)

There is no body that can secure your house more than you, you are a better person, it is only the person who knows where an item is kept that can secure it, why should you bring an outsider to protect your property? To me it is a wrong venture; it means that we don't believe in ourselves. We have seafarers that are not employed, why don't we create our own indigenous security outfit that would man our maritime environment, why should we bring people from outside. Someone has stolen your property and he is the one helping you to look for it, it would be difficult, especially when that person has seen the benefit in that item he has stolen. If you provide the necessary logistics for the people who are supposed to provide the security in Nigeria, they would do better than the people from outside because they know the in and out of what they are securing. 

Capt Deji Abegunde (Ship Owner)

This is a problem of Nigeria that you and I cannot stop, who would stop it? When we start an investigation in this country, it is never concluded, it was in this country that two ships collided and 10 people died, the body of nine people were never seen till date, no search and rescue, nothing. My advice to Dakuku Peterside has always been to focus on piracy which has become number one challenge in Nigeria. 

Engr. Greg Ogbeifun (Ex-President, Ship Owners Association of Nigeria) 

To me, that approach is faulty. One would have thought that such an engagement of a foreign security outfit would have been done by our own security agencies. In other words, whichever agency of government that is responsible for security on our territorial waters should have been the one to bring in foreign technical support that it would need to police our maritime domain. The Navy, we all know is in charge of policing our waters. So if the Navy had been the one bringing in the Israeli partner, then our local content policy would have been respected. It is just like in the maritime sector, when local operators get contracts, they don’t have the capacity to execute, they simply go into a Joint Venture with a foreign partner to get the job done. But the Navy didn't bring in the foreign partner; to me the entire process is faulty . 

Mrs Jean Chiazor Anishere (Maritime Lawyer)

Yes, I believe so, because the Israelis have a very strong and focused Security Service. Hence, even the United States Government finds them to be a more formidable team to work with.

If you give the security contract to an indigenous firm, they can easily be compromised, so I am in support of the Israeli force. They remind me of our old "vigilante" group. No nonsense group we used to call them because they were not prone to corrupt practices. 

Captain Tajudeen Alao (Master Mariner) 

It is not necessary, that money they are giving out can buy patrol boats. It can buy 50 intervention boats for the Navy and it will keep the boys at sea and the issue of piracy will be reduced. All the outlets will be totally manned and then we would go and rest. So, that contract is a misplaced priority, we don’t need Israelis to put satellite or anything for us, it is our physical presence that matters. We need more naval patrol in our waters mostly intervention boats because we are not at war. Gun boats can move in if there is any need for that. If we have minimum of 60 boats in the waters, it will solve all these problems.

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