We’re better trained to tackle insecurity’ – Group seeks Fed Govt’s partnership
As part of its contribution to addressing insecurity in Nigeria, the Nigerian Merchant Navy sought collaboration with the Nigerian Army and other Security Agencies over the weekend to stop insecurity and increase the Federal Government’s (FG) general revenue base.
This was despite the fact that it stated that it has been thoroughly trained to deal with insecurity over the years, and that collaboration with the Federal Government would create platforms to reduce the country’s unemployment rate.
Agaba stated during a press conference with journalists in Abuja that the force is well-trained and better positioned to secure Nigeria’s waterways.
According to him, ” we wish to collaborate with all the security chiefs l, including the traditional rulers concerning the insecurity in our country. We are ready to compliment with Nigerian Army and other security agency to strengthen the security architecture of our father’s land, Nigeria, and also compliment Government’s effort to post Maritime trade and unlock the vast potentials of Africa to the world, convey goods and cargoes from one country seaport to another and sail round the world, protect the integrity of country economic development because sea is a major resources and development to any nation.”
The Rear Admiral, on the other hand, revealed that the organization has discovered illegal routes and hideouts of kidnappers, smugglers, and channels of illegal firearms importation across the country.
According to him, the major locations of illegal oil bunkering in Nigeria include Lagos, Ogun State, Balyelsa, River State, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Benue, Kogi, Abuja, and other states.
Agaba, on the other hand, requested that the Federal Government provide the force with patrol vans, flying boats, rifles, welfares, and other operational equipment, recalling that President Muhammadu Buhari approved the operation of the new Maritime Security Nigeria Merchant Navy (Coastal Defence Force) on April 20, 2017.
“We have discovered the routes and hideout of kidnappers and channels of illegal firearms and illegal location of oil bunkering in Nigeria territorial water ways.
“We appeal to be equipped with security equipment and to operate with other security agencies and we also need go ahead from presidency and the ministry of defence and just of recent on the 18th of July, 2022, we also sent a reminder letter to the President, the chief of the Armed forces of the Federation to equip us with arms of operation.
“We have Barracks in all over the state including the Federal Capital Territory, this is making it 18years now that we have been processing this without monthly salary”, he stated.
He stated that the proposed force is consistent with other national maritime security measures, as well as the International Ship and Port Facility Security, ISPS, code convention at the General National Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.
According to him “Our proposal is in line with the existence of other national maritime security as it is in line with ISPS code convention at the General National Assembly in Geneva Switzerland since 2001 that all maritime countries in the world must establish or reestablish its Merchant Navy Coastal Defence Force-Coast Guard to meet up with the International Security Standard.
‘’We believed that though criminality and insecurity may not be completely eradicated in human society but can be checked and reduced to its barest minimum level. We discovered a high level of porosity despite the huge work of our security agencies.”
He also said that the Nigeria Merchant Navy is not duplication any force, personnel or services, ‘’we are complimenting the role of Nigeria Navy, Nigeria Army, Navy, Airforce, Nigeria Police, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and State Security Services.‘’
He noted that, despite a lack of funds, the force never stops upgrading its personnel’s skills and repositioning them to better discharge their functions in accordance with the law.
Agaba also asked the FG to approve the force’s operational letters, which included promotions, appointment letters, and remuneration.
It can be recalled that on April 20, 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the Nigerian Merchant Navy (Coastal Defence Force) to secure the country’s national asset while also creating more job opportunities.
In addition, on February 11, 2016, a Federal High Court issued a judgment in favor of Nigeria Merchant Navy in suit No: FHC/UY/CS/67/2015, ruling that the security organization was not operating illegally in Nigeria.
“Nigeria need Nigeria Merchant Navy (Coastal Defence Force-Coast Guard) to collaborate with Nigeria Navy and other Security Agencies to stop looses, general revenue to Federal Government and also create job opportunities for Nigeria youths.
“Nigeria also needs the Nigeria Merchant Navy to prevent illegal fishing activities in Nigeria territorial waters, checkmating the gathering of marine product, preventing illegal ships from entering or leaving Nigeria through water ways, participating in search and rescue and salvage operation in time of natural catastrophes,’’ he said.