Crime: IGP Intensifies Efforts To Ensure that the Force Marine Police Is Integrated Into The Deep Blue Project

 By Stephen Ubanna

When Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and who is incidentally the President of Chartered Institute of the Transport Administration of Nigeria, CIOTA, visited Mohammed Adamau, a one –time Inspector General of Police, IGP, he had stressed the need  for enhanced Collaboration  amongst the maritime –related security agencies in tackling maritime security challenges in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea, GoG.

Jamoh DG,NIMASA:Under Pressure To Integrate Marine Police Into The Deep Blue Project

 He had also taken the same message of collaboration   in his first one year in office to other maritime related agencies including the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Nigerian Immigration Service, NIS, and the Nigerian Army.

At present, the Navy, the Air Force, and the army have been fully integrated into the Deep Blue Project, with the Navy and AirForce, controlling the sea and air , maritime security assets of the project respectivelt. Take for instance,  the Navy, under the close watch of Awwal Zubairu Gambo, a  Vice Admiral,   operates and maintains  the Project  16  armoured Vehicles, for Coastal Patrol  17 Fast Interceptor Boats and Two Special Mission Vessels, for Surveillance of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone, EEZ, while the Air Force controls the air assets comprising of  two Special Mission  aircrafts,  three Special Mission Helicopters, for Search and Rescue Operations and four Armoured Marine  Vehicles.  The army was part of the 600 Specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Marine Security Unity, MSU, but the Force Maritime Police, which ought to be part of the MSU were not integrated into it.

Informed security sources told The Value News that Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, who may have been briefed by Adamu, his predecessor, on how far, he has gone with the discussion with the NIMASA, Director General for integration of the Marine Police into the Project to join in the fight against maritime Crime in all its facets in Nigerian waters and the GoG.

 The NIMASA boss may have had had it at the back of his mind that the Marine Police , which activities concentrate more on  the country’s maritime domain  will be supported with  its security assets and strengthened Partnership  in the fight against maritime Crime,

Jamoh may have taken advantage of the CIOTA recent  Conference in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, to hold a closed door meeting with the IGP, on the plan ‘’to extend  the ongoing Collaboration of    the Maritime Regulatory agency is having  with the other security agencies  under the Deep Blue Project to the maritime unit and provision of Patrol Boat supports’’. The meeting was said to have had in attendance other senior Police Officers, including Garba Umar, an Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, who is  the Head of National Bureau of Interpol in Nigeria and recently elected Vice President  of Interpol for Africa.

The duo  were said to have identified  and applauded the reduction  of Piracy attacks and sea robbery in Nigerian waters and the GoG, , which has been recognised by the International Community, International Maritime Organisation, IMO and the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.   They were said to have identified the need for enhanced ‘’policing of the nation’s brown waters’’.

 Jamoh, had said that NIMASA,  is seeking close integration  and collaboration  of the Nigerian Marine Police  into its  recently Launched  waterways security architecture, Deep Blue Project, ‘’to achieve an all-encompassing  outcome stretching  from the blue waters where it already  have the Naval personnel presence  to the brown waters near the anchorage areas where the Nigeria  marine Police statutorily have a role to play to stem the tide  of insecurity  and checkmate the activities  of sea robbers  against berthing ships and seafarers’’.   The NIMASA helmsman had said on Tuesday, December at the CIOTA Conference that  all the 27 incidents of armed attack  and Piracy  between May and July, 2021,three were against the vessels in the anchorages.

While urging all the Parties  to maximize the use  of Technology  in monitoring  the nation’s waters,  the NIMASA Director General  had commended the on-going integration   of the agency’s Command , Control Computer Communication Center, and information system, C4i, located  at  its Resource  center in Kirikiri with’’ the Falcon  of the Navy  and marine Police’s 247 for easy coordination  and intelligence sharing’’.

Baba: IGP, Stresses The Importance Of Force Marine Police To Be Ignored

Describing the marine Police as a ‘’strategic Partner whose  operation  and support are essential  for attaining and improving  on the gain already  recorded  in the anti-piracy drive and safety of small crafts’’ in Nigerian waters,  the NIMASA Director General noted that  that the Police is ‘’critical  in helping to prosecute  suspects  arrested  under the Suppression  of Piracy  and Other Maritime – Offences, SPOMO, Law.

Edward Osagie, an Assistant Director,  overseeing the agency’s Public Relations Department, had  said  the  Police Chief,  commended  the present NIMASA Management’s efforts to have  reduced Piracy and sea robbery in Nigerian waters to the lowest level  in the recent time  and reiterated  ‘’the resolve of the Force  to fight crimes all over the country, including the territorial waters.

 The Police IGP, who could not hide his feelings had described the marine Police, which he is soliciting to be integrated into the Deep Blue Project as a very ‘’important arm of the Force considering the strategic importance  of the waters ‘’to the economic and social well-being  of the country’’.

Industry stake holders had  commended Jamoh, for his enterprising moves to resolve  maritime crime in Nigerian waters at all cost by ensuring that all maritime –related security agencies , including the Force Marine Police, are integrated into  the maritime security unit that had been  Launched by the  agency.

They believed that if past Director Generals of the Maritime regulatory agency have been proactive in their action’s  in the agency, the situation in Nigerian waters may  not  have been that bad before Jamoh mounted the saddle on March 10, 2020.   

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