By Godwin Oritse
FOLLOWING the commissioning of the maritime security surveillance portal by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Mr Gambo Ahmed, Executive Director in charge of Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services at the agency, has said that freight rate for Nigeria bound cargoes are expected to take a plunge anytime soon.
Speaking at the commissioning of the agency’s Command, Control Computer, Communication and Information system otherwise known as ‘C4i’, Ahmed who lamented that when freight is high, the economy bears the brunt, explained that goods are more expensive in Nigeria than elsewhere because it takes much more to bring these goods to Nigeria.
According to him, a secured maritime industry will attract more vessels to Nigeria and gradually the freight rates will begin to reduce.
He stated: “Normally when the freight is high, a businessman will typically pass that additional cost to the consumers. So you find out what goods are more expensive here than elsewhere because it takes much more to bring goods to Nigeria.
“With what we are commissioning today, there is going to be a lot more in terms of security. Very soon we will have more vessels coming to Nigeria, you will see lower freight cost because with that insecurity is going to be largely addressed.
“We are in a position to monitor, we are in a position to be able to see whatever you are doing wherever as long as you are around our waters.
“And we will be able to deal with you and where we need to be arrested, we will do that.
“There are going to be helicopters and fast intervention vessels for the purpose of securing the nation’s coastal and territorial waters.”
Similarly, Head of the Home Land Security International, HLSI, an Israeli firm contracted by the Federal Government to provide the new maritime security architecture, Mr Haim Ben Voon, told Vanguard Maritime Report that deployment of this security equipment will reduce criminal activities on the waters and stop illegal fish-poaching in Nigeria.