Presence of Navy makes seafarers feel more secure at our seaports – Admiral Gambo
Seafarers visiting Nigeria’s seaports now feel more secure while at the ports as a result of the presence of the Nigerian Navy, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo has said.
The CNS disclosed this in Lagos while giving his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the 10th edition of SECUREX West Africa.
Admiral Gambo’s address was titled “Protecting Critical National Infrastructure: Tackling Maritime Crimes; Protecting Nigeria’s Ports.”
Speaking, the CNS said the navy’s efforts in keeping the maritime domain secure have recorded tremendous results including boosting the confidence of seafarers whose vessels call at the ports in Nigeria.
“Presence of these NN ships also serves as deterrence to criminal elements. It is worthy to note that feelers from foreign ships transiting or berthed at these ports revealed that, seafarers feel more secure at these Ports with the presence of NN ships,” Admiral Gambo said.
He also said that the navy increased its patrols around port facilities as part of efforts to ensure safe and secure environment for seafarers, while they carry out their duties.
“Furthermore, NN bases regularly conduct boat patrols around port facilities within their jurisdiction as well as escort merchant vessels in and out of harbours.
“Notably, NN have been involved in the arrest of several stowaways especially in Apapa Ports and Harbour. All these efforts are geared towards providing safe and secure environment for seafarers in various port facilities across the nation.”
Admiral Gambo had earlier in his presentation noted that threats to ports(Including trafficking, arms and drugs smuggling as well as theft) were not peculiar to Nigeria alone, but everywhere else as a result of growth of shipping and globalisation of container business.
He added that even at ports, “The threat of terrorism cannot also be discarded. To mitigate the maritime security situation within approaches to Lagos Harbour and adjoining port facilities, Secured Anchorage Area was established in 2012. The initiative was led by the Nigerian Port Authority in conjunction with other stakeholders and the Nigerian Navy.
“However, recent concerns raised over the use of Private Maritime Logistics Support Company platforms for security of the anchorage necessitated the need to emplace a viable and sustainable alternative to secure the Anchorage Area.
“Accordingly, the NN secures the area using the Special Boat Service to conduct patrols and boarding of vessels within the area. This initiative has tremendously assuaged the security situation in the approaches to Lagos Harbour and by extension the Port facilities,” the CNS said.