To curb the activities of pirates, especially in the Gulf of Guinea, the Nigerian Association of Master Mariners has called for the establishment of maritime security fund.
In an interview with Financial Street in Lagos yesterday, the National President of NAMM, Capt. Tajudeen Alao, however, advised that the fund should not be left with the Chief of Naval Staff, but be put a dedicated account for that purpose.
“The money should be paid into a dedicated account to avoid corruption. It is not what you give to one person,” he said.
Asked if the proposed fund for 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 Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, not in a separate account, and everybody goes to take from the money.
“But we are talking about the Maritime Security Fund dedicated to keep the boats at sea and to curb infringement on our waters.”
He, nevertheless, submitted that “if actually maritime is the backbone in this country, Nigeria must commit more money to it,” adding that every agency of government has a budget.
“As a country, we should challenge this and keep the waters and the domain safe, and then spill over to other 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 stated.