By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo
The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola has disclosed that the Federal Government is exploring the possibility of establishing a coast guard to ensure security on the nation’s waterways.
Speaking in Iragbiji at the weekend, the Minister said apart from the Ministry’s collaboration with the Navy, it is working on different means to provide adequate security to maximize its marine economy potential.
He added that the federal government intends to establish coastal tourism, hinged on proper security in the sector, hence, the move to establish coastal guards.
According to him, the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has a Deep Blue Project with adequate security equipment to provide security on the waterways but the expanse of navigable waterways demands more effective action.
“There are conscious efforts to ensure adequate security of the marine environment, NIMASA has Deep Blue Project that has a gunboat and many security equipment.
“We are already looking at the possibility of establishing a coast guard which will be designed essentially to ensure the safety of our coastal line. We have nothing less than 853 kilometers of coastline in Nigeria and about 10,000 perimeter of inland waterways, if we want to ensure coastal tourism, we must provide adequate security, we are working with the Navy, Marine police, and others to ensure security”, he stressed.
Speaking on the issue of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs skills acquisition centre converted to a football camp, the former Osun State Governor described the action of the State Government as unfortunate
“It is very unfortunate that the project that was meant to allow our youths to acquire skills has now been turned into a camp for football, I don’t have a problem with football but you can’t convert the facility that is meant to assist our youths in the area of skill acquisition to football camp, it is unacceptable, I believe that Federal Government will do what is right to ensure that the purpose of creating the center is achieved.
“I have taken it up and I believe that very soon there will be a reaction, the center is for the Federal government, it is just situated in the town”, he added.