Worried by the rising incidences of piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) has made a case for the establishment of the Maritime Security Fund to check the ugly trend.
The President of NAMM, Captain Tajudeen Alao who made this submission in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos recently noted that the fund when established should not be left in the confines of the Chief of Naval Staff but should have a dedicated account opened for that purpose.
Alao proposed that the fund should be realized on the roads in such a way that every passenger in all the buses transiting at night pay fifty naira and every bus pay five hundred naira on daily basis.
“They money should be paid into a dedicated account to avoid corruption. It is not what you give to one man like they gave Kenny Martins the Police Fund that leads to corruption”, he said.
Asked if the Maritime Security Fund he was proposing would replace the Sea Protection Levy already in existence, he said, “The Sea Protection Levy is for oil spillage. Someone will just come with an idea and they say they want to generate revenue and this money goes to NIMASA but not in a separate account, it is inside NIMASA’s account and everybody goes to take from the money, it is not separated. But we are talking about the Maritime Security Fund dedicated to keep the boats at sea and to curb infringement on our waters.”
He further argued that if maritime is the backbone in this country, Nigeria must commit more money as a national body not as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) or Nigerian Navy as according to him, “every agency has her budget but as a nation, we could say look, this is our source of income, this is a disgrace to the international treaty that we signed.”
“As a country, we should challenge this and keep the waters and the domain safe and then spill over to West African countries. Once the international bodies see that you are doing the right thing, they will collaborate with you. But when they see that you are not doing much, they will be looking at you”, he further stated.
Photo: President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM), Captain Tajudeen Alao.
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