Stakeholders in the maritime have called for inter-agency collaborations among other multidimensional approaches to tackle the multifaceted challenges facing the nation’s industry.
They believe that collaboration among the agencies of government, and incorporating the private sector in policy formation and implementations are imperative to rejig the sector.
The stakeholders wax worriedly at problems besetting the industry at Maritime Security seminar organised by the Maritime Reporters’ Congress of Nigeria (MARCON) in collaboration with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).
Dr. Alex Okwuashi, Rector, Certified Institute of Shipping (CIS) Nigeria, said that maritime challenges in Nigeria require a multidimensional approach and could be viewed from five perspectives.
According to him, economic, political, environmental, technological and security inadequacies pose gravel dangers particularly as they affect the activities in the nation’s territorial waters.
They lead to problems such as “piracy and sea robbery, illegal bunkering and crude oil theft. Pipelines vandalisation and sabotage, maritime boundary dispute, illegal tapping of petroleum products and crude oil, oil rig capture, hostage taking and oil spillage,” Okwuashi said.
He also identified illegal trafficking in drugs and small arms through the nations’ sea gate, dumping of toxic wastes, illegal unreported and unregulated fishing, international terrorism, unstoppable polity and youth/militant violence as repercussions and inadequacies that must be tackled.
Dr. Boniface Aniebonam, founder, National Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) said that public private partnership the best global trend in handling maritime.
Aniebonam said: “These challenges have resulted in initiatives like the multilateral agreements between Nigeria and eight other maritime nations on search and rescue operations in 2009, with late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua assuring the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of his readiness to partner with it for a safe and effective policing of international waters”.