Posted by News Express | 29 April 2016 | 2,741 times
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has called for the deployment of inter-agency resources, including the use of advanced technology, to secure Nigeria’s maritime domain.
Dr. Peterside made the call on Thursday when he led a delegation of the NIMASA Management to the Air Force Headquarters in Abuja. He advocated collaborative ways of dealing with the rising cases of piracy in the Nigerian waters.
The NIMASA boss requested the immediate review of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) the Agency has with the Nigerian Air Force with a view to strengthening the Agency’s capacity to deal with maritime crimes as well as reduce the response time for Search and Rescue (SAR) operations.
He commended the Nigerian Air Force and the military for the successful prosecution of the war against insurgency in the North East.
According to him, “now Nigeria can begin to discuss developmental issues for the good of all its citizens.”
While emphasising that maritime security needs a multi-sectoral and inter-agency collaboration, Dr. Peterside called on relevant stakeholders to pool national resources together to defeat piracy and other maritime crimes for the economic prosperity of Nigeria.
He pledged the commitment of NIMASA to partner with the Nigerian Air Force in order to fight this economic crime and reposition Nigeria as a major hub for maritime activities in the West and Central African sub-region.
In his response, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, said the Air Force can deploy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) attached with cameras in addition to its fleet of Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) to enhance the surveillance of the Nigerian maritime domain.
Air Marshal Abubakar, who said that the Air Force has several senior officers with competence in aeronautic engineering, informed the NIMASA delegation that the Force has produced a prototype that is already in use and that they are ready to build capacity of some NIMASA personnel to handle UAVs.
While calling on the assistance of NIMASA and other relevant stakeholders for mass production of these UAVs, the Air Chief also pledged the support of the Nigerian Air Force to partner with the Agency to deal with maritime crimes.
News Express recalls that NIMASA and the Nigerian Air Force had endorsed an MoU with the Nigerian Air Force where the Force is expected to provide air surveillance of the maritime domain as well as provide support to the Agency’s search and rescue operations amongst others.
•Photo shows NIMASA DG, Dr. Dakuku Peterside (right), exchanging pleasantries with Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadiq Abubakar, during the courtesy call on the latter . . . yesterday at the Air Force Headquarters in Abuja.
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