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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. 

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