Abuja - The Navy says it has installed eight automated, long range
camera-equipped surveillance towers off the country’s coast.
Officials said this was part of effort to tackle the
problem of oil theft.
Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba, the chief of naval staff, said the
equipment was imported from Japan at the cost of about N2 billion and was
equipped with high-frequency radio and long-range cameras which could spot
ships up to 48 kilometers away.
The naval boss said the data collected from the tower was
beamed to a central naval intelligence room where any incoming or outgoing
ships’ registration, flag and other information are verified.
“From the domain awareness centre we can see ships from
anywhere in the world coming or leaving our maritime space. It also gives you
ability to ascertain the actual threat the vessel poses,” Ezeoba said.
He said four of the towers were in Lagos, one each at the
Bonny and Brass crude export terminals, Yenagoa and in Ibaka in eastern Akwa
Ezeoba however added that Nigeria needed to continue to
work on its capacity to pursue pirates and other criminal gangs.
Pirate attaaks off Nigeria have leaped by a third this
year as ships passing through West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea, a major commodities
route, have come under threat from gangs seeking to snatch cargoes or hold
crews for ransom.
Oil theft in the Niger Delta has also seen a relentless
rise, although analysts say this has only been possible because of collusion by
the security forces.
- CAJ News