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Ombo questions essence of new coast guard bill

Master mariner, Rear Admiral Godwill Ombo (Rtd.), has frowned on a bill seeking the establishment of the Nigerian Merchant Navy Coast Guard Security and Safety Corps (NMNCGSSC).

The bill, which is being sponsored by Hon. Tajudeen Adefisoye is reported to have passed the second reading  on Wednesday, 30th June 2021.

Sponsor of the bill believes that when passed into an Act, the Coast Guard Security and Safety Corps would provide jobs for seafarers and support the security function of the Nigerian navy to tackle all manners of criminal maritime activities.

However, in a chat on Monday, Ombo said: “Concerning this bill, there are critical questions maritime professionals and stake holders must fully understand, review and address:


1.What are the roles and primary responsibilities of the Merchant Navy globally?


  1. Is there a constitutionally recognized and established Nigerian Merchant Navy and which department handles its human relations and capacity building/development from enlistment/recruitment to pensionable age? If none, why one can’t be established with the professionals drafting the bill and passing it on to the National Assembly for further necessary action?


  1. Coastguard function is primarily the statutory policing responsibility of any Navy that does not have the capacity for global maritime operations such as the Nigerian Navy that is at best national with regional possibility. So, why the need to create another coast guard?


  1. With the recently acquired Deep Blue Sea Project maritime security assets, what role is a Nigerian Merchant Navy to play in the nation’s maritime industry?






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