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US threatens Nigeria over ports’ insecurity

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LAGOS—THE United States Department of Homeland, has threatened to put Nigeria on the list of unsecured ports in the world, following the incessant pirate attacks on vessels in the Nigerian maritime industry.

In a report addressed to Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security, PICOMMS, the USA Coastguard expressed fear over the security lapses in the nation’s port and wondered what the government of Nigeria was doing to curtail criminal activities in the ports

Vanguard gathered that the officials of the US Coastguard, are currently in the country to examine the implementation of the International Shipping and Port Facility Security, ISPS, Code.

The Coast guard officials, who are currently in the country to carry out International Port Security, IPS,  training programme noted that none of the facility visited can boast of adequate security arrangement.

Part of the report reads “Nigeria experience a high incidence of armed robbery, stowawys and other maritime crimes of opportunities. Reports from the maritime community indicates the vast majority of the port related incidents stem from facilities and unprotected waterside.”

The IPS officials are to visit some of the facilities earlier visited to see how much progress has been made in up grading the security arrangements.

It was also gathered that the Coast guard officials also frowned at government’s decision to concession the nation’s maritime domain to a private firm, adding that Nigeria was the only country that had gone into such security arrangement with an organisation that was not a government department.

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