BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
Nigeria’s chief inspector of diving, Mr. Julius Ugwala, has said the establishment of a common communication network among West African states would improve the security of its territorial waters.
This is just as efforts to solve the problem of maritime insecurity within the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) intensifies.
Ugwala made the assertion recently at the West African Maritime and Shipping Conference, which held virtually.
While restating the need for nations to maintain sovereignty, Ugwala maintained that a unified central intelligence system which would leverage on modern technologies to share and coordinate information relating to piracy and other maritime crimes plaguing the states of West Africa would nib insecurity in the bud.
He said,“To curb unrest in our territorial waters or reduce it to the barest minimum, all maritime agencies in coastal states need to come out with a proper escort corridor, naval patrol at sea, coast guards, modern communication systems, and an office that would coordinate a common communication system to monitor the movements on the West African waters.”
This, he stressed, would improve relationship with key partners in the West African region, make for safety along the West African waterways, improve local skills and create employment.
Speaking on the impact of technology post Covid-19, Ugwala said, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) value chain has brought opportunities that would outlast the present time to the maritime industry.
The setbacks of the pandemic, according to him, were initial but with the innovations in technology through the period, shipping is evolving to accommodate virtual processes leading to efficiency.