The Nigerian Navy on Thursday launched an online Maritime Safety Information (MSI) portal and data centre to provide mariners with real time security and safety information on the waterways.
The centre, located in Apapa, Lagos, was commissioned by the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ette Ibas.
Ibas said the portal would provide adequate information on happenings in the maritime domain for sailors and ensure timely collation, processing and dissemination of navigational warnings, other safety information to mariners operating within the country.
Ibas who was represented by the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command (WNC), Rear Admiral Sylvanus Abbah, said the availability of accurate and timely hydrographic data was a necessity for improved maritime activity.
He said: “Robust Maritime activities cannot thrive without security and safety, which largely depends on the availability of accurate and timely hydrographic data and information.
“This data can be in form of nautical charts, be it paper and/or electronic navigational charts as well as navigational warnings about uncharted dangers which need to be dessiminated quickly to facilitate safe conducts of maritime activities.
“With this portal, I enjoin stakeholders to cooperate and utilise this facility for promotion of safety and security in Nigeria’s maritime environment.
“With our waters safe and secure, robust maritime activities will thrive, which will boost Nigeria’s economy and ultimately improve the well being of Nigerians.”
The Hydrographer of the Navy, Commodore Emeka Okafor, said: “The MSI portal and data centre is intended to provide navigational warnings of uncharted dangers and meteorological forecasts to mariners navigating within Nigerian waters.
“On the other hand, mariners would be able to easily reach out to the hydrographer to report any uncharted features observed during their voyage within the Nigerian waters, which may constitute dangers to navigation.
“Presently, the world is divided into 21 navigational areas and Nigeria is number two. Through this portal, Nigeria has fulfilled a critical International Hydrographic Organisation’s requirement for the development of hydrography.”