A Bill for an Act to establish the Nigerian Merchant Navy Coast Guard Security and Safety Corps has passed first reading at the House of Representatives.
The bill which seeks to secure and ensure the safety of coastline and inland waterways was sponsored by Rep. Adeyemi Adefisoye (SDP-Ondo) at plenary on Tuesday.
Speaking to journalists, Adefisoye said that the bill, when passed, will go a long way in stemming the high tide of sea piracy on waterways in the country.
According to him, the bill will help create employment for thousands of unemployed youths in the country.
The lawmaker also said that the bill would help reduce activities of vandals on waterways and high sea.
“The bill if enacted, will help to curb illegal importation of sophisticated weapons into Nigeria through the sea, to avoid the further proliferation of arms that is already becoming very rampant.
“Establishment of Nigerian Merchant Navy Corps is also expected to perform anti-smuggling operations, thereby assisting in the enforcement of customs laws.
“Moreso, the Nigerian Merchant Navy bill, if passed will also see to the effective performance of anti-piracy operation which will confront and combat the activities of armed robbers and bandits on the waterways.
“The Nigerian Merchant Navy will also enhance the performance of anti-illegal fishery; the corps is expected to assist in the enforcement of customs laws in anti-fishery operations,” he said.
The bill will be subjected to debate on the floor on the house a later date which will determine its passage for second reading.