The Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Dakuku Peterside, has vowed to protect the nation’s territorial waters against pollution and illegal fishing.
Findings revealed that the rate of polluting the territorial waters, illegal fishing and dumping of hazardous wastes has reduced drastically, based on the new measures put in place by the NIMASA helmsman.
A member of the Fishery Society of Nigeria (FISON), Alfred Adegoroye, said NIMASA was working with foreign partners to develop the capacity in tackling the crisis caused by pollution, hazardous waste dumping and illegal fishing.
Adegoroye said the dumping of toxic waste in the maritime domain and the increasing crimes on the coastline were attracting the required attention and commitment on the side of the Federal Government and NIMASA in providing capability and cooperation with foreign partners to build the nation’s maritime capability.
Adegoroye pointed out that NIMASA and other security experts around the Horn of Africa have developed theories over the increasing hazardous wastes dumping and piracy.
He said Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand had set the stage for cooperation between states, both in information exchange and mobilisation of resources.
Another member of the group, Mrs Lola Bilesanmi, observed that the insecurity in Africa’s waterways had forced insurers to hike rates for ships passing through the region.
Specifically, coastal and inland states had seen their vital trade links threatened by pirates, a situation that led to rising costs that their populations must bear.
“As at now, there are no clear answers as to the best ways to ensure maritime security, nor are there clear answers as to what percentage of resources nations should allocate to maritime security to best facilitate the goal of furthering development, but we need to give Kudos to NIMASA for its current initiatives,’’ she said.
Since piracy is not the only threat to maritime security, another member, Mr Sesan Olanipekun, advised the government to adopt best practices that can be implemented to boost the current efforts of NIMASA.