The Inspector General of Police, IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu, on Wednesday advocated for local and international cooperation to secure waterways in the southern part of Nigeria.
Adamu disclosed this in Abuja during a courtesy visit by participants at the National Security Studies, Bwari in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“For us to secure our waterways in the south, we must cooperate and the cooperation must not only be with citizens, but also with other countries that are members of the Gulf of Guinea.
“By this, I am talking about countries that are having border with Nigeria like Cameroon, Benin, Ghana and others.
“I am sure your research will take you to these countries for you to comprehend the impact of these crimes and how it affects national security,” he said.
He said security has been a global challenge, especially with increasing act of terrorism, proliferation of small arms and drug trafficking.
According to him, while we are on land trying to secure our country, there are people that specialise in committing crimes on the high sea.
He said these crimes were being committed on the high sea because the bulk of Nigeria’s international trade comes through the sea.
“It is on record that the crisis in the southern part of the country is fueled by the amount of weapons coming into the country through the perpetrators.
“None of the law enforcement agencies have the calibre of weapons being used by the criminals.
“It is the same type of weapons they use to steal our crude and other products and in doing this, they get themselves ready to confront anybody they come across,” he added.
He said the Nigerian Navy had responsibility to deal with issues of maritime crimes as far as Nigeria was concerned.
Adamu, however, said Nigeria Police has structure that takes care of maritime issues but had limitations on the extent it could go in the sea.
In his remark, Mr Ayodele Adeleke, the commandant of the institute said the visit followed the need to improve on security along the Gulf of Guinea.
He said the theme of the course is “Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, Issues and Challenges of International Trade, National Security and Sustainable Development in member states’’.
According to him, the topic is chosen because of the dwindling resources facing Nigeria at the moment.
He said that bulk of Nigeria’s trade passes through the Gulf of Guinea.
“We believe that the police have a vital role because there is no way we can increase our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) without collective efforts to policing the country’s water corridors,” he said. (NAN)