NSA, EU engage military, others on combating waterways crime

The office of the National Security Adviser in collaboration with the European Union has engaged the military and Para-military personnel on how to combat crime in the nation water ways.

Speaking at a training in Calabar, Cross River State yesterday which was tagged ‘Utom Kiet’ meaning ‘Work Together’ in Efik language, the NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki, said that the objective of the engagement was to provide skills, expertise and capacity building where it was missing in personnel of the military and Para-military forces.

Dasuki, who was represented by Maj. Gen. Babatunde Samuel (retd), said that the programme was formally unveiled in January 2013 by the EU with initial partner countries as Togo, Benin Republic, Nigeria, Cameroon and others.

He said that African countries have moved forward in stepping up the continent’s strategic approach towards a safe, secure and stable maritime domain.

“The move was achieved by the adoption of Africa’s Integrated Maritime Strategy and Plan Action by the African Union in Dec. 2012. The African region has expressed its high level of engagement and commitment to undertake collective efforts to address and prevent piracy.

“This has led to the adoption of a Code of Conduct Concerning the Prevention and Repression of Piracy, Armed Robbery against ships and illegal Maritime activities in West and Central Africa,” he said.

The NSA, who described the event as a bi-annual event, encouraged the forces that participated in the training to keep faith with the exercise.

He expressed hope that the exercise would enhance inter-agency maritime training, information sharing, cooperation for law enforcement at sea as well as regional cooperation.

The Flag officer Commanding Eastern Naval Command, Rear. Adm. Obiora Medani, said that maritime security was a collective effort that involves the military, Para-military and other agencies.

Medani said the collective interest of the training was to ensure that mariners conducted their businesses without hindrance.

The EU training coordinator Mr. Eric Glotin, said that security was important in all human activities.

“Security is very important, we need to act with what we have at hand, and we must beef up security in the regional economic community,” he said.

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