Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is planning to introduce educational, entrepreneurship training and skills acquisition programmes in the area of fishing, clearing and forwarding and legal bunkering for people in the coastal communities.
The moves was part of efforts to discourage youths in the area from criminal tendencies.
The agency added that it would also work in partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in the fight against piracy and other crimes in the country’s maritime domain. NIMASA Director- General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this in Abuja during a working visit to the interim Sole Administrator of PAP, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd).
The agency’s Head, Corporate Communications, Philip Kyanet, said in a statement that the director general underscored the importance of collaboration among relevant agencies and communities in the quest for maritime security.
He said: “We should be working together in partnership to help us appreciate and evaluate the challenges from our various perspectives and collectively come up with solutions that would work for all of us and the country at large. He explained:
“Security problems more often than not have a local content. So, as the country’s maritime regulatory agency, we want to partner the amnesty programme, which interfaces with the littoral communities, to nip the security challenges in the bud, and stand our nation in good stead for the optimisation of our huge maritime resources.”
Jamoh had prioritised advocacy for inter-agency cooperation in the fight against maritime insecurity since his appointment last year, saying that the agency could not proffer solution to the issues and crisis in the Niger Delta without the collaboration of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
He stressed that a Maritime Intelligence Unit (MIU) was recently established by NIMASA to help in the identification of early warning signals in order to prevent security breaches in the littoral areas.
The director-general revealed that many of the assets being installed and deployed under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure (the Deep Blue Project) had intelligence gathering capabilities through air, land and sea surveillance.