By Godfrey Bivbere
Management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is set to deploy three brand new platforms to curb the activities of armed robbery at sea.
Disclosing this to Vanguard in Houston, Texas at the just concluded Offshore Technology Conference (OTC), Senior Special Assistant to the President on Maritime Matters, Leke Oyewole, said that the action of the agency in the Lagos area has forced the sea robbers to flee.
Oyewole however explained that the deployment of the platform would soon effectively eliminate their activities there.
According to him, “When we talk about increasing piracy, we talk about the Niger-Delta, it is near zero in Lagos. In the Niger-Delta, if it is increasing, it is so for some other reasons.
“Whether we call them pirates or oil-thieves, we are also combating it. Two or three days ago, NIMASA moved into the East with certain number of vessels. They have gotten six additional patrol vessels, big ones this time around. Three have already arrived; some have been moved to the east while more are being moved,” he noted.
Oyewole also said that the Nigerian Navy is deploying some of its platforms to that area to help combat the activities of sea pirates.
In his words, “The Navy also is moving their platforms in that direction. I can tell you that given the next one month, since it is not an increasing thing to me.”
On the accusation that NIMASA was housing former war lords in its resource center at Kirikiri, Oyewole pointed out that it might be part of the agreement between NIMASA and Global West Vessels but noted however that he is not sure.
In his words, “There is a concession between NIMASA and Global-West wherein NIMASA is to provide certain facilities and I do not know whether that is part of it.
When you have a partner that you are working with, the partner gives you certain things and you oblige him certain things also.