By Philip Nwosu
The Nigeria Police have taken steps to end crime within the country’s waterways by dispatching 50 personnel of the force attached to the Marine Police unit of the Nigerian Navy training school to train on how to curb the menace.
The officers from the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) to Corporal were trained by the Joint Maritime Security Training Centre (JMSTC) on basic maritime operations to enhance the capability of the Marine Department of the Police for littoral and riverine operations so as to enable them carry out their duties in securing the maritime environment , especially the inland waters effectively.
Addressing the 50 Nigeria Police personnel, the Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral, Ibok Ibas, said the course was aimed at developing the capacity of the Marine Police to conduct operations in support of the Nigerian Navy in internal waters to the habour and port entrances of Nigeria’s littoral states.
Admiral Ibas who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Naval Training Command (NAVTRAC), Rear Admiral Obi Ofodile, said the training the officers was to inculcate in them the best global practices in seamanship, navigation and other specific areas of maritime operations, adding that it was also aimed at enhancing their professional competence in basic maritime operations.
He explained that recent security challenges confronting the nation, especially in the maritime environment, needed the collaborative efforts of all security agencies, especially the navy and the police, commending the authorities of the force for working out the training arrangement.
He said the Nigerian Navy is always ready to render necessary assistance to the police when called upon to do so, adding that as a maritime nation endowed with enormous resources, the need to protect these resources has become very necessary.
Ibas said that for the Nigerian security agencies to win the war against illegal bunkerers as well as other enemies of the state, the services of all the agencies must be of one accord and that the good rapport developed by the police with naval personnel during the course should be sustained.
The Commandant, Joint Maritime Security Training Centre, Captain Noel Madugu, while speaking to the graduating police officers said the trainings received was the start of their career in the Nigerian marine police operations, stressing: “The Basic Maritime Course was developed in order to enhance the capability of the Marine Department of the Nigerian Police for littoral and riverine operations so as to enable them carry out their duties in securing Nigeria’s Maritime environment particularly the inland waters, effectively and efficiently.”
He said that the objective of the course, “is to improve the knowledge of the participants in seamanship and navigation in line with international best practices.
“Also to make the participants well versed in boat handling techniques and maintenance and to enhance the instructional capabilities of participants on boat handling techniques and maintenance.
“Also to improve on water survival/search and rescue skills of the participants, to improve the participants’ weapon handling skills and to impart the participants with the necessary knowledge which they can teach their colleagues.”