NIMASA: Information Sharing Key To Securing Nigerian Maritime Domain –Mobereola

By Stephen Ubanna

 This is not the best of times for the Pirates, sea robbers and other criminal   elements operating in coastal countries like Nigeria and other coastal nations situated along the Gulf of Guinea region.  These are coastal countries which includes Republic of Benin, Cote de’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Togo.  Other countries that are situated along the Gulf of Guinea regions includes   Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Sao Tome Precipe.

Mobereola: DG,NIMASA

The Pirates and sea robbers may be digging their own grave if they dare should continue the Dayo Mobereola, the new Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, this time around.

  The NIMASA, Chief Executive Officer, CEO,who has vowed to sustain the tempo  of anti-piracy policy inherited from Bashir Jamoh, his predecessor, appears to have found an answer  to address the challenges of the Nigerian  maritime domain  and the Gulf of Guinea region: sharing of information with other Government agencies.

The NIMASA, CEO, who could not hide his feelings was a said to have opened up during the recent visit of Bello Matawalle, a former governor of Zamfara, home state of the Bandits Group, in north western geopolitical region and now minister of state, ministry of Defense, to the agency.

The NIMASA, helmsman was said to have told the minister  who had listened with rapt attention to him that  ‘’effective  synchronization  of the   maritime regulatory agency’s  Command and Control ,Computer, Communication and Information system, centre,    C4i and  the Falcon eye of the Nigerian Navy will   go a long way to boost the Federal Government’s  efforts  in reaping the benefits  of the Blue Economy.

Former President Muhammadu Buhari had engaged the Israeli firm HLSI, to supply set maritime security equipment to the country to be domiciled in NIMASA, on the contract sum of $195 million, of North American country of the United States, US, dollars, to prosecute the Blue Economy project.

The Israeli firm,  which had won the multi-million dollars  contract  was said to have been given the mandate to supply  16 coastal  patrol vessels, 17  Interception Boats,  two Special Mission Vessels, two Special Mission  aircrafts for surveillance of Nigerian Economic Zone, , EEZ,   three helicopters and  four unmanned aerial  vehicles and which had been delivered to the agency. 

 Note that the sea security equipment are operated and managed by the Nigerian Navy, under the close watch of Emmanuel Ogalla, a Vice Admiral while the air equipment are operated and managed by the Air Force.  Already, the maritime security equipment have been   deployed into operations, thus making piracy activities and attack on ocean going vessels laden with cargoes difficult in Nigeria maritime space and the Gulf of Guinea region in the recent times.

Mobereola, the NIMASA, boss, who was said to have been represented  by   Fatai Adyemi, an Engineer and Executive Director, operations, was said to have  received the minister of state , Defense .The NIMASA, Executive Director,  may have spoken the mind of the Director General   when he declared that  ‘’improved  information sharing  between the agency  and Vice Vice Admiral  Ogalla led Nigerian Navy,  will  enhance  the capability  of the  various maritime related security agencies  in  curbing crimes  in the nation’s waters.

An elated Eng. Adeyemi, who had received Matawalle, the minister of state, Defense had said that the visit was a clear demonstration of the commitment of the President Bola Ahemed Tinubu’s Administration to encourage effective collaboration amongst all government agencies to achieve a common goal: maritime security.

matawalle making a speech during a recent visit to NIMASA

The minister, who may have taken advantage of the visit to NIMASA, to rub minds with the Mobereola led Management team,  was had aid   that   the Federal Government’s commitment ‘’ to integrating the operations the C4i, of NIMASA and the Falcon Eye  system of the Nigerian Navy  , described as ‘’the state of the-art  surveillance facility’’  that operates  sensors  located  along the nation’s  enormous coatline  , such a radars, long range electro  optic  systems  with thermal  or night vision facility, automatic identification receivers, weather stations and marine high frequency radios for communication  will enhance the security of the country’s maritime space and engender economic prosperity.

xHe noted that the integration  of these sensors  into the Falcon eye   system  will  generate  real-time  situational awareness  of the vessels  operating in Nigerian  waters  and some selected  parts  in the Gulf of Guinea.It was not surprising why he  has called for improved collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and BNIMASA, particular, in the areas of the C4i system   and the Falcon eye platforms which are expected ’’ to  the courage  of both local and massively complement each other’’.

The former Zamfara state governor who had visited the NIMASA C4i center at Kirikri,  Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve center  to inspect the operational  model of the facility had  told those that cares to listen that  ‘’Nigeria will benefit much  more  if all the agencies  of government  can synergize  seamlessly  and improve  information  sharing  amongst   one another’’.

The minister may have gladdened the heart of the NIMASA Director General and his Management team when he asserted that the goal of the ministry is to see the NIMASA C4i center integrated with the Nigerian Navy Falcon eye in order to secure the country’s maritime domain.

Matawalle , the former Zamfara state governor  was emphatic  that the Nigerian Navy, which currently manages and operates  the NIMASA, domiciled sea security equipment, must work together  ‘’to create  the desired  maritime environment  for a prosperous blue economy’’.

He was said to have repeatedly said that the two government agencies must work together to be integrated so that they will be communicating with each other without out any hindrance. Hear Him: if the Falcon eye and the NIMASA c4i are communication effectively, Nigerian maritime domain will be devoid of any security challenges but will boost both local and foreign investors in the sector.    

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