By Godwin Orittse
AT the backdrop of incessant security breaches at the nation’s marine environment, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and Port Facility Security Officers, PFSO, Forum are now pushing for a maritime community policing with a view to making the port community safe and secured for business.
Speaking at the monthly meeting of the PFSO in Lagos, an official of the International Ships and Ports Facility Security, ISPS, Code Unit in NIMASA, Mr Obene Ikiabo, said that perpetrators of this crime are within the community.
Ikiabo also stated that Federal Government manpower was not enough to secure the industry adding that funding for community policing in the maritime industry can be shared between the states and local governments adding that the private sector can also be co-opted into the funding.
He said: “Private sector can support the funding so as to operate in a safe and secure community.”
Similarly, Dr Ignatius Uche, Chairman of the PFSO Forum, said that all stakeholders in the maritime industry should be made to buy into the initiative to make it work.
Uche described the initiative as a concept whereby all the stakeholders within the community, within the industry will come together to know themselves and disseminate information, share intelligence and as well as network with one another so that they will be able to filter out those that have come to the environment with a sinister motive.
He explained that members and non-members of the community will easily be identified if community policing is made to be effective.
He stated: “The Forum is advocating for all stakeholders (NIMASA and PASO) in the maritime industry, terminal operators, government agencies, security agencies, dockworkers, unions and associations to come together to identify with the issue of community policing.
“This way we can see ourselves as partners in progress working towards the same goal in ensuring safety and security of the maritime industry. The law enforcement agencies are already overwhelmed given the enormous threats in our environment. So we need to partner with other stakeholders for this purpose”.