By Samson Echenim
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) says Nigeria must develop its human resources for various fields of maritime endeavour in order to boost its blue economy.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony for another 298 surveillance officers in basic training course for the implementation of the Integrated Security and Waterway Protection Infrastructure, also known as the Deep Blue Project, DakukuPeterside, director-general of NIMASA said the capacity development component of the project is on course as the agency prepares to receive the land and infrastructure for the Project.
“Our vision of creating the critical force for intervention which is expected to work closely with the command and control center to effectively police the Nigerian Maritime Domain is becoming a reality as they will bring to bear what they have learnt here,” said Peterside, who was represented by Gambo Ahmed, the agency’s executive director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services.
He stated the land based intervention force was expected to work closely with the command and control centre to effectively police the Nigerian maritime domain, thus enhancing security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The DG used the opportunity to assure Nigerians that the project jointly implemented by the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Defence would greatly curb criminality in the Nigerian maritime domain.
“The present threats posed by insecurity to our maritime economy and the need to support economic renaissance of the nation led to the bi-ministerial collaboration of the federal ministries of defence and transportation under the supervision of the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to the President to develop a robust maritime security architecture comprising all Military and Security Services that would ensure conducive and enduring maritime environment for the nation,” Peterside stated.
Micky Gnash of Homeland Security International (HLSI) who are consultants to the project, in his speech during the ceremony, gave the composition of the graduands as 110 officers and men of the Nigerian Army and 198 officers and men of the Nigerian Navy.
“They were trained on combat related courses, ranging from physical training, sharp shooting techniques and ability to use the arm from a range, bare hands fighting in open terrain, built up areas and in the bush,” he said.
He also added that the training was tailored towards empowering them for the enormous task of safeguarding the Nigerian territorial water ways”.
With this basic training concluded, the officers will proceed on the advance training in September, 2019, which is expected to last for eight months.