Nigerian Government maritime security agreement with Israeli firm

31st October 2017

The Nigerian Government has entered into a three year agreement with an Israeli firm over maritime security issues. The agreement, which has $195m financial obligation on the Nigerian government, will entail the training of Nigerian security personnel by the Israelis and is expected to commence this December.

Disclosing this during the 2017 World Maritime Day celebration held in Lagos on Monday, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, explained that the contact became imperative given the amount shipping firms pay for security escort on Nigerian waterways.

According to the Honourable Minister of Transportation, “We have mandated a consulting firm to do a study of the maritime sector, and they will round off in nine months. They have already done between three and four months, and we are expecting them to submit an interim report on their findings.

“One of the burning issues in the maritime sector is security. The Federal Government has contacted an Israeli firm who is going to train our security men. They will buy equipment and dominate Nigeria’s waterways for the next three years.

“Within that three years, the Israeli firm will train our security operatives for them to take over after the expiration of the contract. They are yet to launch because they are still buying the equipment. When you see the equipment’s on the waterways, people will know they are safe and secured.

“Mr President has kindly approved that, and that is being done through the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). In that three years, they will train our Navy, our Army and our Police so that we can stop spending money escorting boats and vessels on our waterways.

“Currently, Maersk told me they spend between $15m and $18m annually to those escorting their vessels from one point to another on our waterways. We should be able to deflate that by next year so that people can do their businesses on our waterways without any fear of being attacked or harassed.

“The Israelis has assured us that after the training of our security operatives, such harassment and attacks on our waterways will not happen again. They even said we should hold them accountable if such harassment persists on our waterways after the training. That is one achievement that has happened under our leadership in the maritime sector.”

Source: Nigerian Tribune 31 October 2017

http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/piracy-fg-hands-maritime-security-israeli-firm/

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