By Godwin Oritse
THE Lagos Maritime Security zone of the Port Facility Security Officers (PFSO) Forum has proposed the establishment of a regional maritime security forum in the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS with a view to tackling security from a common front.
Speaking at its monthly meeting, Chairman of the Forum, Dr. Ignatius Uche, said that since the sub-region has a common maritime security challenge, the move to tackle such issue through a regional front is expedient.
Uche said the Forum has communicated its plans to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, being the Designated Authority (DA) to implement the International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) Code, a maritime convention by the International Maritime Organization, IMO.
He stated: “The PFSO Forum is evolving, we started with the Lagos Maritime Security zone of the PFSO and grew to have the National Maritime Security zone comprising of both the Lagos and Niger Delta maritime security zones which gave birth to the PFSO Forum of Nigeria.
“We now looked at how we can synergize with other countries in the sub-region with a view to combating piracy and sea-robbery from a common security front since we have a common maritime security challenge. More so, this is in line with the objective of regional integration in the area of maritime security.”
Uche also told Vanguard that members of the Forum are expected to buy into this initiative, adding that NIMASA, being the DA, is also expected to buy into the move and push it to the appropriate authorities as much as possible.
He disclosed that NIMASA has been intimated of the matter even as the Forum is also awaiting the approval of the proposal from government.