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Nigeria plans to set up coast guard – Oyetola

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Determined to further secure the maritime space and the country’s waterways, the Federal Government said it has the intention to set up a coast guard.

Adegboyega Oyetola, minister of Marine and Blue Economy, disclosed this on Tuesday in London during bilateral discussions with ministers and representatives from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Brazil and Jamaica at the ongoing 33rd General Assembly session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

According to Ismail Omipidan, the minister’s media aide, Nigeria’s government wants to learn from the knowledge and experiences of other countries before setting up its coast guard.

During the minister’s meeting with Adm José Augusto V. da Cunha de Menezes, Brazilian Chief of the Navy’s General Staff, Oyetola said Nigeria would want to learn from the operations of the Brazilian coast guards, as the ministry was desirous of setting up one.

“We want to also focus on sectors such as Marine Renewable Energy, Marine Mining, Subsea Cabling and Piping, Marine Genetics, and Biotechnology to grow the marine and blue economy.

“As we continue to expand and develop the activities of the sector, there will be a need to deepen security architecture within the maritime space. In this regard, we are considering setting up Coast Guards and we believe that they will complement the existing security architecture to further secure our maritime space,” Oyetola added.

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While expressing Nigeria’s desire to tap into technology to transform the maritime sector, the minister said technology and innovation are vital for boosting Nigeria’s trade and investment prospects within the Marine and Blue Economy.

“Advanced marine technologies, including innovations in maritime logistics and smart logistics solutions, will significantly enhance the efficiency and sustainability of maritime transport and port operations, making Nigerian ports more competitive globally,” he added.

During the meeting, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria agreed to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cement their corporations, collaboration and partnership in the maritime space.