The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in compliance with its mandate, is collaborating with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to tackle illegalities on Nigeria‚Äôs maritime domain.
The partnership, which was entered into through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by both agencies in 2013, is expected to help the nation in tackling issues relating to maritime insecurity in the country.
Idris Umar, minister of transport, in his speech at the opening ceremony of a two-day stakeholders‚Äô sensitisation conference on the partnership between NIMASA and NAF held in Lagos on Monday, assured Nigerians that the partnership would help in achieving a robust maritime security in the country, further urging NIMASA to sustain the tempo at which it was tackling the security issues confronting the maritime industry.
Patrick Akpobolokemi, director general, NIMASA, noted that the Air Force was well equipped to carry out operations such as search and rescue, air surveillance, tactical airlift and enforcement action against piracy and other forms of illegalities on the waters.
The joint efforts between NAF and other armed forces, Akpobolokemi said, had started yielding notable results in the area of interception of vessels operating illegally on Nigerian waters, adding that this robust support would in the near future help in creating a stable business and economic environment for investors so as to create more employment opportunities for Nigerians.
Adesola Nunayon Amosu, chief of air staff, observed that there were concerns resulting from continued insecurity in the nation‚Äôs territorial waters, saying the success of the cooperation depended on the efficiency of the inter-agency commitment and contributions. He assured that NAF was properly equipped to effectively carry out its operations in line with the terms of the partnership.