In a bid to enhance the protection of waterways as well as curb sea piracy, the Nigerian Merchant Naval Staff otherwise known as Coastal Defence Force-Coast Guard has appealed to Federal government through the Ministry of Defence to equip them with necessary tools that will enable them collaborate effectively with other security agencies in finding lasting solution sea crimes at sea. According to a letter addressed to the Minister of Defence, titled, “Request for the Final Implementation of Nigerian Merchant Navy” the Chief of Nigerian Merchant Naval Staff, Commodore I. Agaba said the implementation of the activities of Merchant Navy will ensure corporation of relevant security agencies in meeting the security demand of the nation along its waterways. While noting the organization’s role in the development of national economy in areas of transportation, fishing, oil and gas which he said contributes immensely to the GDP, he said the revelations of International Maritime Bureau, IMB, that attack by sea bandits off the coast of West Africa are increasing and the United Nations Security Council observation that Nigeria was losing about $1.5 billion on a monthly basis to piracy necessitated the need to fully equip Merchant Navy. He stated the organization has discovered the routes and hideouts of kidnappers, smugglers and channel of importing illegal firearms and major locations of illegal oil bunkering in which made them to appeal to be equipped properly with patrol vans, flying boats, rifles, logistics and other operational equipment that will enable them to arrest the situation. Speking further, Agaba recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari gave approval for the operations of new Maritime Security Nigeria merchant navy on the April 20, 2017 with equipment to enhance security on the waterways so as to complement other security agencies on 15th December, 2017. Continuing, Agaba, who enumerated the economic gains of the organization, said among other things, that it will boost maritime trade as the sea is the major route resource and development of the nation. He thanked President Buhari for keeping his promise of securing the nation effectively. Source: Nigeriatoday
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