Engineer Matthew Alalade (Merchant Navy)
Yes, I think all these strategies will work, the government has been doing trial by error, getting the Israeli company and all that to secure the waterways. Now this new strategy, let us give them time like three to six months; then you will see the report within our coast if they are doing good or not. It is premature for anybody to say whether it will work or not. I think and believe that it will work, lets us see the outcome when they start the implementation.
Rev Jonathan Nicol (SALS)
The primary duty of NIMASA is to ensure that our waterways are safe so, whichever way they want to do it or any programme that they want to use to ensure that our waterways are protected; they should go ahead and do it. All we want is ease of doing business, security is important in movement of vessels and I think if they bring a laudable programme to make the waterways safe, fine and good because that was why they were set up. The information I got recently is that fishing vessels predominantly safe now on Nigerian waters, unlike before that they are always attacked by pirates. So they should use that security mechanism to other vessels, the fishing vessel are already safe, people are not going to the sea to catch fishes unlike before when they harm seafarers inside the vessels. So they should intensify their security network to protect all other vessels.
Comrade Adewale Adeyanju (MWUN)
The strategies are going to help. I think the man is coming in from a very good direction; it is a good idea coming out from him. If we have been having programmes like this in the past, I think the sea piracy would have been reduced by now. What he is bringing up is commendable.
John Okpono (Merchant Navy)
Yes, to the best of our knowledge, it is a very good project; the piracy in the Nigerian territorial waters is not peculiar to the nation alone, it happens to other countries, we appreciate NIMASA for their efforts towards making the territorial waters safe for business. In the same vein, we are not too comfortable with the way they are having their meetings, we are stakeholders in the industry both in the coastal waters and the fishery we are ought to have been carried along. There are some of us currently working on the security vessels, there is nothing wrong if NIMASA can consult us the seafarers so that we can give them some matured seafarers who are interested in the security job to train them along other personnel. We call on NIMASA to also carry us along so that we can join them to make all their plans very formidable so that average seafarers can make a good sail without fear of attack.
Mr. John Egesi (Stakeholder)
It is not arms that will stop us from fighting piracy; it is information and the will to do that. If what NIMASA did improved our chances of knowing where the pirates are, I will tell you that yes it will help. If the people fighting it are focused for the love of the country, the armed forces already have arms, if NIMASA bought more arms for them it is just a kind of decorating it, but if it improves the communication, the satellite communication of knowing where those people are, then it will definitely help. But if it is not, if you don’t know where the person your fighting is no matter the number of arms you have it will not help. So the main thing is to follow the ships when they are coming in, because when you monitor them when they are coming in you will likely know when they are being attacked.
Engr. Lucky Akhiwu (Chairman Technical Committee, SOAN)
I can tell you that when policies are issued, there is always criticism but I can tell you that NIMASA means business; they want to do everything and Nigeria being what it is, as they come up with policies they have been proactive they are doing everything possible to fight piracy and that's why we are encouraging them. There is work in progress, that’s what I can tell you, and my belief is that this will also give us some mileage. What NIMASA is doing is that with every policy they come up with, as it is being implemented they must have seen how effective that policy is and then they begin to make amend.
Capt Tajudeen Alao (President Masters Mariners)
This is a new direction. God willing, the Industry will see the benefit, the problems have always been delay in response to distress call and no reaction at all. Once, early detection is in place and response /reaction can follow, deterrence will manifest and we can have appreciative reduction in offshore attacks.
Mr. Eno Williams (Vice President, SOAN)
In the issue of the centre, I will tell you that NIMASA has done excellently well, and I will give it to them, this is the first time we will see bullishness matched with action, but it is still not enough, they can build the best intelligent centre in the world, if there is no vessels plying the waterways, who are they building them for? So there must be action. We are the giant of Africa, but I still don't believe we are a giant of Africa.
We can only be optimistic we know they are doing their best, lets trust that with this new initiative the issue of piracy will be resolved, most especially around the eastern port area where we have the issue of constant pirate attack; they are trying their best, but we hope that their best this time around will be enough to stop piracy.