The Nigerian Navy says the myriad of security challenges confronting the maritime sector can be curbed with a sustained inter-agency collaboration.
Rear Adm. Sahad Akinwande, Commandant of Naval War College Nigeria, said this on Wednesday in Calabar at the Naval Warfare Course 7 inter-agency seminar 2023.
The seminar had the theme: Harnessing the Potentials of the Nation’s Maritime Environment: Imperative for Synergy Amongst Maritime Stakeholders in Cross River.
He said that the college was convinced that when stakeholders dialogue towards proffering solutions to common challenges, the outcomes would be advantageous to its immediate environment.
The Commandant said that emerging security challenges such as terrorism, banditry, cultism, kidnapping among others, have all aggregated to expand the responsibilities of the Nigerian Navy beyond its traditional roles.
According to him, the service on its part is leaving no stone unturned towards combating the nation’s maritime security concerns.
“Notably, the Nigerian Navy Maritime Security Operations efforts in March 2022 led to the delisting of Nigeria from the International Maritime Bureau Piracy List.
“Similarly, in February the Chief of the Naval Staff announced the delisting of Nigeria from the list of countries paying War Insurance Premium for ships whose destination is Nigeria by Llyods of London, United Kingdom.
“This means that ships doing business with or plying Nigerian sea lanes will pay the normal insurance payable by other countries which is less expensive and this will enhance shipping/cargo trade.
“These achievements are the products of improved Maritime Security Operations, enhanced security architecture and robust collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and other critical maritime stakeholders,” he said.
Keynote speaker at the event, Prof. Florence Obi, Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, urged the Navy to foster their relationship with other security agencies and stakeholders to curb maritime challenges.
Obi, who was represented by Prof. Michael Okom, the Director of Alumni Affairs in UNICAL, said that the maritime domain houses the largest biodiversity on earth.
According to her, any nation that neglects the security of the maritime sector does so at its own risk in view of the economic potentials that abounds in the maritime domain.
“There is the need for the navy to collaborate with other security agencies to tackle the menace of piracy, oil bunkering and militancy,” she said.
Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, said that a sustained inter-agency collaboration would explore potentials in the maritime sector for the good of the country.
Dewu, who was represented by the Chief Staff Officer of the Command, Rear Adm. Michael Oamen, said that such collaboration would also help to curb the inter-agency rivalry that is mostly caused by junior personnel of the service.
Heads of Security agencies at the seminar were; Customs, Nigeria Security and Civil Corps, Immigration, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Nigerian Inland Waterways among others.
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