Expert urges collaboration between maritime security agencies to safeguard Nigeria’s marine environment

 Rear Admiral Godwill Ombo (rtd), the Deputy Secretary-General of the Society of Nigerian Mariners (SNM), has urged maritime security agencies to work closely in tracking vessels arriving Nigerian ports.
Ombo made the call in an interview in Lagos on Monday.
He said that the call became necessary bearing in mind the need to safeguard the country’s marine environment.
``They need to be able to get a better appreciation of what is happening in our waters; to be able to track all vessels that are coming into our waters as much as possible.
``There is also a need for all our maritime security agencies to see the big picture and discuss the big picture.
``When a vessel is coming into our waters, long before it gets to 24 nautical miles of our coast, Customs, Immigration, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Police, NIMASA, must have an operating environment, where they will all see the picture of what is coming into our waters.
``Just like a Stock Exchange. Everybody is saying the same thing and we are discussing it and we know everybody knows what to do with the vessel long before the vessel comes along side.
``It is not just information. It is a common operating theatre where you are seeing your ships at sea, just as if you are watching it on your TV (television).
``By the time they share that, our maritime environment will become much more secure than what it is now.
``The Navy particularly, needs to establish that kind of a place where we are showing a common thing.’’
Ombo, who expressed confidence in the capacity of the Nigerian Navy to control the country's maritime domain, however, said that it needed more radio detection and ranging (RADAR) systems to cover the entire coastline.
He applauded the partnership between the Navy and NIMASA, saying that it had made the maritime domain safe.

He stated that the common operation facility would help check illegal oil bunkering.