Barrister Temisan Omatseye, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has pointed fingers at NIMASA over inadequate maritime security measures in the country,
Omatseye while speaking during the 2023 Annual Maritime Lecture of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) urged the agency to take responsibility by issuing ship entering notices to vessels entering Nigeria.
Omatseye in a scathing review attributed the prevalent issues of kidnapping, piracy, and cargo theft in Nigeria’s maritime sector to the dominance of foreigners, labeling it a fundamental problem affecting overall performance.
He criticized NIMASA for its failure to address these challenges effectively, emphasizing the necessity for increased intelligence and collaborative efforts within the industry.
Expressing dissatisfaction, Omatseye highlighted the absence of key entities such as the Department of State Services (DSS) and Marine Police, as well as the lack of engagement with community residents. These, according to him, are critical issues demanding immediate attention and intervention, squarely placing the blame on NIMASA’s lapses.
To address the security gaps in the country’s territorial waters, Omatseye called on the federal government to establish a dedicated patrol corridor supporting vessels navigating from Bonny to Lagos. This, he argued, would complement existing marine and blue economy initiatives but emphasized that the primary onus lies on NIMASA to take proactive measures in safeguarding Nigeria’s maritime interests.