POLITICS OF INTEGRATING C4i, C3i AND FALCON EYE OF DEEP BLUE PROJECT
According to the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), between August 2019 and June 2020, 80% of the necessary assets had been delivered and the Command, Control, Computer Communication, and Information Centre (C4i) was officially launched at NIMASA’s base in Kirikiri, Lagos.
NIMASA and the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) have made provisions for enhanced inter-agency cooperation through expanded information-sharing by linking the NPA’s Command, Control and Intelligence Centre (C3i) and NIMASA’s C4i to avoid duplication in responses and costs, coordinate removal of wreckage and debris that hinder navigation, and better assist the Nigerian Navy in mitigation and rapid response efforts.
Captain Akinpelumi, who is a member of the steering committee of the Nigerian Ship-owners Association (NISA), said plans by the European Union to take charge of maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea, is a confirmation of the failure of the C4i project.
Akinpelumi decried the delay in the takeoff of the NIMASA deep blue project, which aims to tackle insecurity on the nation’s waters, saying that despite the billions of naira spent on the project and several failed promises to deploy the assets, no concrete result has been achieved because of politics of integration.
A major underlying challenge that adversely affected maritime safety and security in Nigeria was the duplication of activities and functions by agencies whose responsibilities tend to overlap, but are all related to the same issue. This involves basically three notable agencies – NIMASA, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). You have a situation in which they all invest in similar infrastructure and platforms for the same purpose but work independently of each other.
For instance, while NIMASA has the C4-Eye to oversee the waterways, NPA has C3-Eye for the same purpose, and the Navy has Falcon-Eye. The positive development that has come out of discussions and efforts at forming synergies is the agreement by the agencies and other stakeholders that all the platforms should interface since the objective is the same.
The agencies are taking stock of what each does, in order to identify gaps and how to fill them. The aim is to harmonize efforts and build a solid platform for the purpose of addressing maritime safety and security issues effectively. It would also be possible to locate where safety issues occur and respond quickly but how far has it been achieved till date?
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Spanish Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Furor will carry out maritime security tasks in waters of the Gulf of Guinea for three months including Lagos (Nigeria) to carry out cooperation activities both at sea and in port, seeking to increase the military capabilities through training and advice in activities related to maritime security.
How can NIMASA harness the benefits of the Coordinated Maritime Presence through the OBANGAME EXPRESS, trainings and cooperation when the integration of the C4i, C3i, and Falcon eye are not ready for effective anti-piracy operation?
Maritime /Crime Analyst
PFSO, CSO (UK Maritime & Coast Guide Certified)