The President, who gave the hint of the impending legislation, said it was necessary to guarantee the stability and development of shipping business in the country, in view of the upsurge in piracy and armed robbery on the Nigerian waters.
Jonathan, who spoke through his Senior Special Adviser on Maritime Services, Leke Olugbenga Oyeleke, at the World Maritime Day celebration in the oil rich city, also gave a hint that vessels operating within Nigeria would henceforth be compelled to carry on them a special security device for protection against the scourge.
According to him, piracy and terrorism would be treated the same way, with severe punishment, after the law had been signed.
He said that combating terrorism and piracy on the nation’s inland waterway, was not top on his administration agenda in order to protect marine business and lives in the country.
Reaffirming government commitment to peace and stability of the country, he said government agencies in the nation’s maritime sector would be empowered to effectively man the country’s territorial waters.
As part of efforts to kick-start the war against pirates, Jonathan said the Nigerian Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA) would soon be directed to install tracking devices on all Nigerian flagged ships in addition to the Automatic Identification System (AIS). AIS is a special security device recommended globally for easy location of vessels, especially at distress time for search, rescue and other security opertations. The installation, was to ensure the safety and security of Nigerian vessels.
Copyright, Blaise APLOGAN, 2010,© Bienvenu sur Babilown
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