Nigeria’s Transport minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has revealed that Nigeria will spend about USD186m to combat piracy in a bid to safeguard its waters and vessels moving in and out of the country.
Amechi made this known in a speech at Nor-Shipping’s inaugural Africa Podium in Oslo, Norway, NAN reports.
He allayed potential investors’ fears of growing security concerns in Nigeria’s seaway amid a rise in attacks by pirates.
The minister said that over the next six months, the Nigerian government would give additional training to its navy, while providing technical and further support to patrol vessels in the region.
The former Rivers State governor also stated that security at the country’s ports will be improved. “Rest assured, in six months you will no longer be harassed in our waters,” he told delegates.
Amaechi said Piracy is not the only issue currently impacting the progress of the maritime sector in Nigeria.
While admitting that eradicating this growing issue was the main priority, Mr Amaechi was keen to point out that Nigeria was also making significant strides in its bid to improve its creaking transport infrastructure.
“All you hear about is efforts to stamp out corruption, but we are working extremely hard to develop transport infrastructure,” he added.
Whether this be roads or railways, the development of ports, the dredging of inland waterways and coastal regions, he said there was huge investment and resources earmarked for projects now and in the future.
Mr Amaechi also revealed that transport has by far and away the largest budget allocation from the government.
“Things are changing,” he said.
Meanwhile, thousands of shipping and offshore workers along with maritime officials from more than 80 countries are in the Oslo area this week for their latest industry gathering known as Nor-Shipping. The conference has been held for more than 50 years, in rotation with a similar gathering in Greece called Posidonia. Even in the digital age, people still like to get together in person to talk shop, strike deals and maintain contact