Merchant Navy seeks empowerment to fight piracy



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Merchant Navy seeks empowerment to fight piracy

From Frank Ikpefan, Abuja



 

 



The Nigerian Merchant Navy (Coastal Defence Force) has called on the Federal Government to empower it to fight piracy.

The organisation said the call for empowerment will compliment the current administration’s effort to boost maritime trade and unlock the Africa’s vast maritime potential.

The Chief of the Nigerian Merchant Navy, Commodore Ichukwu Agaba made the appeal at a conference organised to upgrade the skills of its members and to reposition them to better discharge their functions effectively in accordance with the law.

He  appealed to the Federal Government to provide the organisation with patrol vans, rifles, speed boats and other operational equipment.

Commodore Agaba also sought the approval of the force operational letters including promotion, appointment letters and remuneration.

President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the Nigerian Merchant Navy (Coastal Defence Force) to secure the country’s national asset and also create more jobs opportunity on April 20, 2017.

Also a Federal High Court delivered a judgment in favour of Nigeria Merchant Navy on the February 11, 2016  which held that the security organization was not operating illegally in Nigeria.

Commodore Agaba said that the Nigerian Merchant Navy had been working for “over 15 years now without basic salary and we see it as a duty call to serve our father land.”

He added: “We have deployed our officers in thousands to Abuja ship base known as source of information ship base command, Benue State command known as Signal Ship Base Command, Lagos State known as Search And Rescue/Federal Operational Ship Base Command, Abia State Operational Ship Base Command, Edo State Operational Ship Base Command, Kaduna State Administrative Ship Base Command, Delta State Tactical Boats Operational Command, Bayelsa state Operational Command, Cross River State Protection of military load ship base command, River State Operational Command/Sea Training Depot Ship Base Command, Imo, Ogun, Lagos state and other states in the country.

“Our organisation has discovered the roots and hides out of kidnappers, smugglers, and channel of importing illegal fire arms and major locations of illegal oil bunkery including Lagos, Ogun, Bayelsa, Edo, Akwa Ibom, Delta and River State. We deserved to be empowered and equipped with arms and ammunition to collaborate with the Nigerian Army and other security agencies in the country.”

 

Merchant Navy seeks empowerment to fight piracy

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