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FG to increase satellite surveillance over illegal activities at sea

FG to increase satellite surveillance over illegal activities at sea

Senior special assistant to the President on Maritime Services, Olugbenga Leke Oyewole on Tuesday disclosed that the Federal Government is considering bringing in additional satellite surveillance equipment to monitor maritime activities on the nation’s territorial waters.

Olugbenga Leke

Sea piracy, armed robbery, and other illegal activities on the nation’s waters resulting in loss of revenue to the government have continued to be a concern amid existing collaboration among maritime agencies and security agencies formed to address the problem.

Oyewole said that provision of additional satellite surveillance equipment will further strengthen the collaboration between the Navy, Airforce and the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA) in curbing illegal activities at the nation’s territorial waters.

Multiple satellite at sea, according to him, will further enhance capacity of the Government authorities to get more reports of activities at sea, because the current information being generated by the existing satellite system is inadequate.

“We want to make sure that we separate the satellite that will relay information to us and that is why we are working to ensure that we put in place more satellites for us to get regular information on what goes on our waters. We are not going to rely on the satellite alone, we will also deploy more aircraft and drones which are all going to be linked to a ground station that will relate to the automated agencies that will create just one internet platform,”  Oyewole said.

Oyewole who was on a working visit to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, also disclosed that the Government will deploy the use of drones to complement effort of the maritime agencies on water. He said more aircraft and platforms will be used for day to day operations at sea to quash illegal activities at sea.

He further reiterated that the services of the maritime agencies like Navy NIMASA, marine police, airforce will not be overshadowed as a result of the new development, as the satellites will assist their operations.

Executive secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council, Hassan Bello had earlier told the President’s aide the need for the Federal Government to put in place policies that can drive the sector forward. He said political will of the federal government is of fundamental to maritime sector growth, saying that Nigeria Shippers Council has grown to a brand in making the port more effective.

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