The Federal Government has deployed security boats, software and armed personnel in the seaports as part of fresh measures to secure the maritime domain.
The Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, said this in Abuja on Thursday at the inauguration of the boards of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
He said the Nigerian Navy and NIMASA would collaborate with relevant service providers in the private sector for enduring security operations to ward off sea pirates and oil thieves.
Umar also said work was in progress to remove ship wrecks and derelicts from the sea “for safe navigation within our waterways.”
He reiterated the earlier pledge by the Federal Government to develop three deep seaports and an additional port to boost gas revolution in the country.
Umar said the government was making concerted efforts to ensure the development of the deep seaports, stressing that this was the ultimate solution to the overstretched existing ports.
“In this regard, the ground-breaking for the actual development of the Lekki Deep SeaPort will be performed soon; while in the case of the Ibaka Deep SeaPort, Akwa Ibom State, a steering committee has since been constituted with membership drawn from the Federal Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority, Akwa Ibom State Government and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission,” the minister said.
Umar said, “I also wish to state that discussions are in progress between the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigerian Ports Authority on one side, and the Lagos State Government and some investors to develop the Badagry Deep Sea Port.
“Efforts are equally in progress for the establishment of a port at Ogidigbe, near Escravos, which is expected to be the hub for gas revolution initiative of the Federal Government.”
Addressing the new board members, Umar said the maritime sector was vital to the nation’s economy, stressing that its enormous potential should be further harnessed to meet the expectations of the government.
He said, “Government, therefore, is bestowing enormous responsibilities on the chairmen and members of the boards of the two agencies being inaugurated. As members of the governing boards, you are expected to in harmony with the agencies in implementing government policies and programmes in line with the mandate.