By Yahaya Isah
Abuja, – The Nigerian Navy (NN) on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for effective and efficient service delivery.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, said the signing of the MoU had become imperative because of the importance of the nation’s maritime domain.
Ibas said the first MoU that was signed between the two organisations yielded a remarkable achievement.
This, he said, necessitated the review of the MoU to continue to work together to protect the nation’s assets from crude oil thieves and other criminals.
He said the first quarter of 2016 witnessed an unprecedented high rate of crime in the nation’s maritime domain but due to the collaboration of the two organisations, the crime was drastically reduced.
Ibas said the service needed more support from sister agencies to enable it to carry out its professional responsibility of safeguarding the nation’s maritime domain and other responsibilities.
He expressed optimism that intelligence, facility and information sharing would go a long way in assisting the service to carry out its professional responsibilities.
The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, expressed delight at the signing of the MOU, saying that it would avail the two organisations with yet another opportunity to continue to safeguard the nation’s assets.
Peterside said the major responsibility of NIMASA was to safeguard the maritime domain and rid it of any illegal activities and making the environment conducive for legal activities.
According to him, it is the responsibility of the organisation to ensure the safety of vessels in the nation’s water ways.
“Over the years, we have made tremendous achievements, especially in area of safety of vessels.
“Crime rate has dropped tremendously, and we are working in a very close relationship with the NN in achieving such feat,” he said
Peterside said further that signing of the MoU would heighten the expectations of Nigerians and vessels owners with the hope that their vessels would be safer.