By ‘kanmi AKINLADE, Investigator Correspondent Northern Zone/
ABUJA– DEFENCE Minister, Major General Bashir Magashi has reiterated the economic potentials of natural resources buried in the continent’s deep seas and the need to constantly guide against sabotage.
He dropped the hint while flagging off the Sea power for Africa symposium Tuesday, at the nation’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja.
According to him, holding the African confab at this time was apt considering the laudable efforts by relevant agencies to stem the tide in Sea piracy and sundry criminality along the coastlines.
The minister who was represented by the Director of Navy Ministry of Defence, Mr. Fashina Kayode Julius at the symposium themed “Integrating Africa’s Maritime Domain Awareness Infrastructure towards Effective Ocean Governance’ praised President Muhammadu Buhari for repositioning the military for optimum utility “through modernization and codification of enabling policy instruments aimed at achieving comprehensive enforcement of the maritime laws.”
Speaking further, Magashi said that the promulgation of the Harmonized Standard Operating Procedures on arrest, detention and prosecution of vessels and persons in Nigeria’s maritime environment document in 2016 as a template for all maritime stakeholders in Nigeria couldn’t have come at a better time.
He added that, “The upcoming Nigeria Maritime Strategy is an added policy tool that would further galvanise national maritime resources towards the actualization of a virile Blue Economy that is underpinned by an effective maritime security architecture.”
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo said the economic importance of the sea has necessitated the increasing responsibilities and duties of African navies along the coastlines adding that well over 90 per cent exports were by the seas.
To the Naval chief, “The gatherings of this nature are vital to forge collaborative frameworks towards protecting the over 18,950 miles of coastline on the African continent.
He added, “The exploration of natural resources is forging new frontiers especially, with the huge natural gas reserve potentials on the continent amounting to more than 800 trillion cubic feet which would no doubt accelerate Blue Economy activities.
“The Nigerian Navy through the support of the Federal Government has embarked on building institutional capacity for enhanced maritime governance by the launching of the Falcon Eye Intelligence Facility, the Deep Blue Project and different asset acquisition and capacity building programmes of the Nigerian Navy.
“These efforts and investments are yielding the required outputs especially with recent reports of drop in piracy incidents within our waters.
“The Federal Government is working assiduously with different stake holders and tiers in government to ensure that the root causes of piracy and other maritime crimes are mitigated through non-kinetic programmes and constructive community engagements.
“In retrospect, the tradition of the Sea Power of Africa Symposium was initiated by the Chiefs of the Navies in Ghana Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa at the International Sea Power Symposium held in 2003 at Rhodes Island, USA.
“The Symposium offers a veritable platform for African maritime nations to congregate and cooperate to address maritime challenges facing the continent. The maiden edition was hosted by South Africa in 2005, followed by Nigeria in 2006 and again South Africa in 2009. The 2021 edition is the first to be hosted virtually.”
All rights reserved. It is an offense to either broadcast, reproduce, rewrite, publish and redistribute this material partly or wholly without the express permission from Frontpage CrimeWorld Publishers Nigeria Limited, Publishers of CrimeWorld Magazines and weekly newspapers.