The Minister of Transportation; Mr Rotimi Amaechi has again assured stakeholders in the maritime industry that the government is on top of the situation to address issue of insecurity on the Nigerian waters.
Speaking yesterday after a stakeholders meeting, the Minister assured that in the next few months, the issues of insecurity will be reduced if not totally eradicated.
Ameachi said the reason for the stakeholders meeting was to reassure them government is at work and very soon Insecurity on Nigeria waterways will be a thing of the past.
He said: "You will agree with us that there is an upsurge of insecurity in the country and its becoming a bit alarming, I don’t know how many of you can remember in 2016, we secured the approval of both Mr. President and the cabinet to introduce a maritime architecture, which is coming to fruition.
"The Israelis will provide the training, the rest will be manned by Nigeria security, the Navy, the Army and the Police, we thought that was the best way to go even though it is within the domain of the Nigerian Navy, but we wanted other members of the armed forces to give them some support until we completely arrest the situation, before they can withdraw and allow the Navy to takeover.
"We have to had that conversation because the shipping community was getting a bit worried and we need to reassure that we are on top of the situation. And we believe that by the time we launch into the waters in few months’ time if we dont eradicate insecurity it will he reduce to minimal base.". he said.
Speaking also, the Director General NIMASA,Dr. Dakuku Petersides assured that with the arrival of some interceptors vessels he said Insecurity will be reduced why assuring that 80 percent of the gadgets will arrive before June this year.
He also corrected the notion that the isrealis will be the one to handle the waterways.
According to him "First let me the impression which the Minister has done earlier, but let me further enhance that position, that we're not handing over our waterways to be isrealis to man.
"They are providing assets and the training or retraining of the armed forces those who will man assets on our waterways.
" Now in terms of assets. Six interceptor boats are in the country. The first special mission of vessel came into the country December last year, the second special mission vessel will be in this country in February.
"The first special mission aircraft will be in the country before the end of the first quarter of this year. Then six armoured vehicles are in the country already, apart from 6 armoured vehicles the first unmanned area vehicles will come in between now and the end of February.
"Then, in terms of the helicopters, we expect the first helicopter in the first quarter of this year. Those are some of the assets that we have on ground.
"Recall that I mentioned that the first special mission vehicles came in December last year. The second one will come in February maybe any time from now
Then in terms of the six armoured personnel carriers fitted in communication gadgets, almost all the communication equipment are in the country already.
" Those are some of the assets that are in the country and between now and June 80% of the assets will be in the country."
On secured anchorage the Minister said the payment of anchorage should stop adding that it is absurd for the indivudual person to protect it self on the waters he said it is the responsibility of the government to do so.