‘Nigeria’s maritime space porous’

Posted By Stop Illegal Fishing:9th Apr, 2019: Maritime security

The Chairman, Port Consultative Council (PCC), Otunba Kunle Folarin, has said inadequate surveillance of Nigeria’s maritime space is the bane of the economy.

He spoke at the quarterly roundtable organised by Kings Communication Limited in Lagos.

Folarin said surveillance of maritime space was a serious issue that required the government’s urgent consideration.

The failure to do this, he further said, is responsible for infiltration of Nigeria’s territorial waters by foreigners who come to fish without necessary certification. This development, the maritime expert noted, has led to investment in the fishing subsector dropping drastically from 125 fishing companies about 10 years ago to 25 presently.

“For diplomatic reasons, I will not mention names of the countries but we know that surveillance is low and it is not a matter of blame game to ask why is it low. Policing Nigerian maritime space is a serious issue that the government should address. We should be in charge or held responsible for issues that have been raised by the inadequate surveillance of the maritime space which has brought a lot of problems to the nation’s economy,” he said.

Folarin, who doubles as the Chairman, National Seafarers Welfare Board ( NSWB) lamented that investors are worried over the high level of insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, adding that the maritime industry has key potentials to provide millions of jobs if well enhanced.

“Nigeria has the longest coastline in the Gulf of Guinea. It has over 9,000 nautical miles of coastline which is largest in Africa when compared to any other country. The surveillance is low to the extent that its a field day for every country of the world to come fish in our waters freely,” he said, adding that “the country’s coastline within the bight of Benin around the Gulf of Guinea which records the highest number of piracy, also needs adequate policing.

Source: The Nation Online 

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