THE Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) collaboration with the Nigerian Navy has begun to yield result as relative peace and security has returned to the nation’s coastal waters.
Disclosing this in Lagos recently NIMASA’s Director-General, Mr Temisan Omatseye who received and conducted officers of the American Navy from the Africa Partnership Station round facilities at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC) in Lagos.
Mr. Omatseye noted that information sharing between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy is ongoing to ensure effective monitoring of the nation’s maritime domain. All signals received on the Automated Identification Tracking (AIS) at the Regional Maritime Rescue Coordination Center are shared with the Nigerian Navy who also send Data generated from its Radar at the Naval dockyard, Beechcroff ,to the MRCC.
He statedÂ that the Agency now effectively monitor all Ships with functional AIS,adding thatÂ those which do not have AIS or deliberately turn them off, can also be identified from the Data generated from the Naval Radar.
â€œFrom this room, we can effectively monitor activities of all vessels out there on our waters. When we see two vessels extremely close, it’s an indication that something fishy is going on.
All we do in such cases is to pass the information to our patrol boats and they are mobilized to investigate the Shipsâ€ he said.
The DG further disclosed that the Automated Identification System, AIS, which is manned by Naval Officers attached to the Maritime Guard Command, assist the Agency to generate General Packet Radio Service, GPRS signals and exact position of the Ships.
He also stated that the Long Range Identification Tracking (LRIT) and the Maritime Safety Information (MSI) system would soon be integrated into the package adding that the documentation process has been concluded and the test run would soon start.
The NIMASA-DG who commended the American Government for the support in establishing the AIS in Nigeria, noted that the collaboration between the American Navy, NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy will greatly enhance Security and Safety on Nigerian waters.
On her part, the Commander of Africa Partnership Station of the United States Navy, Captain Cindy Thehaun commended NIMASA for what the Agency’s Management has achieved in the areas of Maritime Safety, Security and Shipping promotion.
She also noted that the American Government is committed to the relationship between the American Navy and the NIMASA.
Facilities inspected by the American Naval team from the Africa Partnership Station, at the NIMASAÂ MRCC include the Automated Identification System, Helipad for Search and Rescue Operations and the Maritime Data Bank which is the first of its type in the West and Central African Region.