Olu Olasore (Gemtrade Int’l Ltd.)
In my own opinion, I think it’s just an idea to embezzle money and waste our resources; it is a step that calls for caution. The government may have its reasons for bringing in a second agency, but to an ordinary man it comes across as a funny idea.
The only thing that can warrant another security agency is if the existing ones are not performing their duties well and if they are not performing their duties, it will even be advisable for government to divert that money they are proposing to fund this new agency to revive the existing ones.
This idea of setting up an agency ( if care is not taken) can be high jacked by politicians and they will use it to embezzle money for political parties, government must endeavour to carry the masses along and educate them, let them tell us how good the intention is because all these to me appears to be a trial and error tactic and Nigerians are tired of it.
Comrade Leke Sani (President, NPA branch, MWUN)
Though the security of a nation is an issue that must not be compromised or jeopardized at any point in time, but I strongly believe that we have an existing security agency that is capable of handling security on the water fronts and even in the ports generally. By introducing another maritime security agency, one will wonder what the Navy is doing.
In the NPA alone, I know we have well trained security officers that are seasoned as well, that are why when the management tried to introduce a private security agency, the union totally fought against the idea. My opinion is that we do have enough existing security agencies that are capable of securing our water ways.
Chuks Okereafor (Five Star )
It’s a pity that everything we do in Nigeria is always tailored towards the style in USA, just like the Cabotage law and now we are trying to adopt the Coast Guard system too. Its not a bad idea but we must streamline their duties and state clearly who they report to so that there won’t be a clash of duties with other existing agencies, government should try and harmonize all the maritime agencies, because there is an arm of the Customs, Navy, Marine Police, Merchant Navy and so on which is already saddled with maritime security.
Also, in forming another maritime security agency, they must have the tools to work with and the right people to head the agency so that it won’t appear to be taking care of just a group of people, they will have to give them choppers, radars and so on to work with because securing our water ways takes a lot of these things which costs money. But if government can not do all these, then it will be best if they use the money to fortify the marine police and the navy.
Cosmos Ndimkora (Freight forwarder)
Going by what we have in this country, creating an additional maritime security agency will not be too much; my argument now will be who supervises it in order for it not to be abused because the port is a very corrupt area, it is not just to rename agencies but to equip them is what matters, giving them the right welfare packages and as well as not compromising capacity building.
In America, they have the coast guard and it is very laudable, but in doing the same thing here, my fear is that let not the Nigerian factor come into it, if we can allow men of integrity to handle it then it will be a very good thing.
It’s not only on the waterways that security have to be improved upon, even on the port access roads, something should be done.
Atitebi Michael (Stakeholder)
Creating another maritime security agency is a way of sharing the national cake, it’s an idea to spend our money because we already have NIMASA, we have the navy and so many other ones that can take care of the water ways. If the government has not been able to equip the marine police and other security agency on the water ways, then how are we sure that they can do anything for the new agency.
Government should try and put round pegs in round holes, also the NIMASA and other stakeholders should not allow this new idea to scale through because if it does, the law will remove the relevance of NIMASA as a regulatory agency of security in the maritime sector.
Olanife Adeoye (Oil marketer)
What I think we really need is a change of attitude and a leader that can deal with corruption in this country, because one will want to ask that what are the existing security agencies doing? Is it that they have too much work on their hands that they cannot handle or is it that the existing maritime agencies are not performing their duties well enough? The navy are there, so also we have the marine police and all other security operatives, so what exactly is the use of another agency?
Everything is in the hands of government, but what I think is that we should find a way of reducing the stress on the masses and not to try increasing it.