Maritime security experts under the aegis of the Support for West African Maritime Security (SWAIMS), on Thursday pledged to partner the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) toward addressing maritime security and safety.
The group, which is affiliated to the European Union, provides support to ECOWAS countries in the drive to fight against piracy and related crimes in the sub-region.
It offers technical assistance on the anti-piracy and nautical security services, among others.
The SWAIMS team, on a working visit to the NPA head office in Marina, Lagos, identified electronic management control, deepening of International Ships and Ports Facility Security ISPS Code compliance and sustenance as areas it could assist on.
Other areas of critical concern, it said, included security surveillance and deterrence.
The group said it would also provide capacity building on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) as well as radar surveillance on cyber security.
A statement by Mr Olaseni Alakija, General Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications of the NPA, said that the SWAIMS team led by Dr Alex Klein was received by Mr Onari Brown, Executive Director, Marine and Operations.
Brown, who represented the Acting Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko, emphasised the need to partner with policy makers in view of the cost of insecurity.
“This is necessary to take the drive to the next level,” he said, stressing that insecurity encourages inflation, high operating costs and impacts negatively on standard of living.
The Acting Managing Director, in his remarks, stated that issues of maritime insecurity had heightened hence the need to tackle the matter frontally.
He urged the SWAIMS team to diligently concentrate on the theme of their operation which, he said, NPA would always identify with.
The official emphasised the need for information sharing, declaring that it was key to tackling maritime and cyber insecurity in the industry and beyond.