Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), AVM Abubakar Liman, says the maritime domain remained critical to Nigeria’s economic development and security.
Liman said this at a seminar organised by the department of maritime warfare, for senior course 43, tagged ‘Law of the Sea’, at Jaji, on Tuesday, in Kaduna, and with the theme: “Combating Threats in Nigeria’s Maritime Environment through Effective Legal Framework’’.
The commandant, who was represented by the AFCSC Deputy Commandant, Rear-Adm. Monday Kohwo-Unurhiere, noted that protection of the maritime domain was paramount, and thus the need for the officers to be knowledgeable about the legal framework guiding operations in the nation’s maritime environment.
“With this at the back of our minds, I make bold to say that this gathering is an opportunity to deliberate and suggest effective legal frameworks that can enhance ongoing efforts at combating threats in Nigeria’s maritime environment,’’ he said.
According to him, the outcome of the seminar will broaden the knowledge of officers and enable them contribute to national efforts at curbing illegalities in the maritime environment.
He urged the officers to leverage on the opportunity to advance their knowledge on legal framework guiding effective operation in the maritime environment.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, Commodore Saheed Adeshina, AFCSC Director of Maritime Warfare, said the maritime environment remained the country’s economic centre of gravity, stressing that the protection of the nation’s maritime space, from all forms of threats, was, therefore, of paramount concern to the Navy.
“The seminar has become an important item in the college’s calendar of events, as a veritable forum for capacity development on maritime law enforcement in Nigeria’s maritime environment,’’ he said.
He also said the seminar was also relevant, within the context of the Africa ‘Continental Free Trade Agreement’ (AfCFTA), which came into force on Jan.1, adding that as the AfCFTA boosts the volume of trade across the continent, it was likely to cause an increase in shipping traffic.
“Maritime law enforcement constitutes a critical component of Nigeria navy’s trinity of action for the protection of maritime environment from criminal infractions.
“A robust legal framework is thus needed, toward ensuring that illegal acts are criminalised and sanctioned appropriately.
“Achieving a safe and secured maritime environment will no doubt contribute to improving national security and sustainable exploration of the resources in the sector,” Adeshina said.