In line with its mandate to ensure safety and security in the Nigerian territorial waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Navy have renewed the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to protect and secure our maritime domain.
At the official signing ceremony of the MOU at the Naval Headquarters in Abuja recently, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas agreed that the MOU was sacrosanct for seamless shipping activities within the nation’s territorial waters to bring about the much needed economic diversification in line with the change agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari led Administration.
According to Peterside, the MOU signed by the two parties, in addition to the previous onesalready signed between NIMASA and other government security Agencies- especially as NIMASA does not bear arms, will help the Agency to provide adequate maritime security for merchant shipping. The MOU being renewed was first entered between NIMASA and the Navy in 2007.
“NIMASA does not carry arms thus the MOU emboldens the Nigerian Navy to provide support for NIMASA against ship with potential and actual illicit operations. The success of the originating MoU with the Navyhasspurredthis agreement up, thus we have no doubt or hesitation whatsoever to continue collaborating,” the Director General stated.
He expressed gratitude to President Buhari and the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, for their support and approval for the collaboration agreement.
On his part, Vice Admiral Ibas, on behalf of the Nigerian Navy, promised to provide the anticipated tactical experience and capacity to complement and support the Agency in its drive to secure the maritime environment and engender safer shipping.
“The Nigerian Navy is adept and keen to pursue the objectives and content of this MoU in the general interest of Nigeria and Nigerians. Illegal operations of ships are detrimental to our maritime potentials, and by extension, the Nigerian economy therefore, collaboration of this magnitude and nature, to salvage the economy and complement the change agenda of the present Administration for economic diversification must be pursued”, Ibas observed.
In line with the content of the renewed operations-related MoU, NIMASA and the Nigerian Navyare to collaborate in the extensive areas of intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, search-and-rescue operations, tactical sea-based assistance and enforcement actions against piracy, sea robbery, smuggling, illegal bunkering and illegal fishing.
It is worthy of note that the MOU being renewed was first entered between the two agencies in 2007.