NIMASA Signs MoU with Nigerian Navy, Airforce to Enhance Patrol, Aerial Surveilance

In a bid to ensure sustainable growth in the maritime sector, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has entered into an agreement with the Nigerian Navy and Air Force to ensure round the clock patrol of Nigerian waters and aerial surveillance within the country’s territory.
“To effectively cover the countries under the Regional Maritime Search and Rescue Centre of eight countries, a robust maritime domain awareness and response system is required”, said Ziakede Patrick Akpobolokemi, Director-General of NIMASA in a world press conference this week.
Akpobolokemi explained how the agency approached the relevant Federal Government authorities and got approval to put in place a robust Maritime Domain Awareness which led to the birth of the NIMASA Satellite Surveillance Centre”.
For him, the goal of the agency is to provide a safety net for all those doing business within Nigeria waters. With the launch of the satellite centre, the agency is now able to respond to any distress call on Nigerian waters and even beyond.
The new 24-hour Satellite Surveillance equipment has the capability to detect boats, ships and objects of pre-defined cross-section floating on water. This includes any aircraft that ditches and remains on the surface during satellite over-flight”, said Akpobolokemi.
He further explains that the capabilities include but not limited to setting range rings areas which when penetrated by an intruder, triggers an alarm thereby alerting the operator/watchkeeper.
“Indeed, this facility which was instrumental to the rescue of a Ghanaian flagged vessel hijacked by pirates of the coast of Ghana in June 2014 can also be used to: see beyond the territorial waters of Nigeria; identify ship positions in real time which can greatly enhance search and rescue ; plot search and rescue patterns; detect vessels that switch off their Automatic Identification System (AIS); and interrogate the satellite image for more information”, he added.
He added that the agency’s upgrading of its Global Maritime Distress Safety System (GMDSS) in Lagos, Bonny and Oron, and the Radar installation in Escravos Bonny and Takwa Bay in Lagos will complement the satellite facility and further boost awareness response capabilitty when fully operational.

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