A number of security providers have been forced to suspend operations in Nigeria following the implementation of new laws governing the private maritime security sector.
The implementation of new laws governing the activities of the maritime security sector in Nigeria has forced a number of security providers to suspend their operations in the country.
Although precise legislation governing the sector‚Äôs activities has been in place for many years, the decision to further regulate the maritime security industry reflects the country‚Äôs anger over the flaunting of laws.
The new laws were drafted and approved with the express intention of closing the loopholes previously used by non-legal contractors to supply services in Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities consider as non-legal any company that is supplying services in Nigeria without the appropriate licenses.
Operating licenses are only issued to wholly Nigerian owned and managed companies that are registered in the country. The application process involves a series of ministries and authorities and, given the audits and controls that have to be conducted, can take a considerable amount of time.
A number of the companies who have signed the MoU have been welcomed into the Nigerian Navy fold ‚Äì and a recent meeting was held to cement relations. In a welcome address to the companies, Vice Admiral Ezeoba emphasised the importance of Nigeria‚Äôs maritime assets and interests while reminding all present at the meeting of the NN‚Äôs statutory responsibility of providing security in the maritime domain. He referred to the companies as partners to the NN and contributors to the task of preserving the national maritime assets. According to the CNS; ‚Äúthis meeting will afford us the opportunity to know one another even better‚Äù, adding that ‚Äúit is in furtherance of these objectives and to create a framework for the coordination of our activities and overall cooperation and synergy that the Navy deemed it necessary to articulate a Memorandum and Guidelines document.‚Äù
The Chief of the Naval Staff urged all the stakeholders to see themselves and the organisations they represent as being involved in the shaping of the future of the security cooperation in Nigeria‚Äôs maritime domain which in the medium to long term, would contribute to the shaping of the regional maritime environment. The Memorandum of Understanding was carefully deliberated upon by representatives of the private maritime security companies and NN representatives which included the Chief of Policy and Plans, Chief of Training and Operations, Chief of Administration and Director of Legal Services.