The European Union through the West and Central Africa Port Security, has stressed the need for an improved security measures in the country’s maritime domain.
EU said this on Thursday in Lagos during the closing ceremony of the WeCAPs first mission training in Nigeria.
This is coming weeks after the Federal Government through the National Boundary Commission got approval to extend its Exclusive Economic Zones from 200 to 350 nautical miles.
Speaking at the event, the Team Leader of WeCAPs, Nico Vertogen, said the need to strengthen the security and safety of the West and Central African ports cannot be overemphasised.
He said it will help reduce vulnerabilities and risks thereby increasing skills and vigilance.
Vertogen pointed that the perimeter fencing of the ports, installation of CCTVs, access badges, among others were means of tightening the nation’s port security.
“WeCAPS is not an approach of giving yellow cards or red cards, but it is an approach of working together among colleagues and experts,” he noted.
Earlier, the General Manager of Security, the Nigerian Ports Authority, Mohammed Khalil, explained that the mission, which started in August 2022 ,was sponsored by the European Union and driven by Expertise France.
He said that the grouped worked in collaboration with NPA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
Khalil added that the successful conduct of the training demonstrated the resolve and commitment of the authority to partnership and collaboration with international organisations.
“Such as EF, Port Management Association of West and Central Africa, Defence Threat Reduction Agency USA, among others, in order to address identified gaps and vulnerabilities in the ports with a view to enhancing the country’s operational efficiency and to optimise performance in its service delivery,” he said.
He explained that the ports were among the country’s critical national infrastructure and assets, which also include other maritime transportation systems and related industry.
“As an integral part of the global maritime logistics and supply chain, the portrait file safety and security of the ports are of paramount importance to the well-being of the global economy,” he further stated.