Rear Adm. David Adeniran, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, has urged participants of the Naval War College Nigeria (NWCN) Course 4, to uphold national interest in the fight against maritime crime.
Adeniran made the appeal during the Inter-Agency Cooperation in Maritime Security Operation Seminar, 2020, held in Calabar.
The FOC said that in spite of all the technologies required and provided in the fight against criminality within the nation’s waterways, the human interest was key.
“When personal interest supersedes national interest, the operation will fail and the personal interest will invariably fail because it is always temporary.
“When you get to your units after your training, look for other agencies and form a synergy as no one agency can ensure maritime security alone.
“If we have an improved Maritime Domain Awareness, there will be reduced maritime crimes,” the FOC said.
Similarly, Rear Adm. Adeseye Ayobanjo, Commandant, NWCN, said the objective of the seminar was to harness the expertise of respective maritime agencies through cooperation in combating maritime insecurity.
According to Ayobanjo, the maritime environment was the ‘life blood’ of Nigeria’s economy, conveying over 85 per cent of the total volume of the nation’s international trade as well as a store house of living and non living resources harnessed by the nation.
“While the protection of the nations maritime environment has been provided by the Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other maritime agencies, some undesirable elements sometimes undermine this effort through crude oil theft, piracy, maritime pollution and smuggling.
“Combating these attendant maritime security challenges in Nigeria’s maritime environment is a shared responsibility between the Nigerian Navy and other maritime agencies; it is in recognition of this that the seminar was organised.
“It is my hope that this seminar would provide answers to address the collaboration deficits in the use of Maritime Domain Awareness systems to combat maritime security challenges in the nation’s maritime environment,” he said.
Rear Adm. Stanford Enoch (Rtd), who delivered a lecture titled “Maritime Domain Awareness: A Prerequisite for Curbing Smuggling Activities in Nigeria’s Maritime Environment”, said no nation would close its eyes and allow criminality thrive within its waterways.
Enoch, who was the guest speaker, added that to check smuggling, there must be a centralised coordination and national policy on Maritime Domain Awareness that clearly defines concept of operations, command and control, information interchange as well as intercept capabilities. (NAN)