Story By Roland Ekama.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur DanAli, has stated that the federal government has adopted both soft and hard power approaches in curbing insecurity and criminality in the maritime space.
Dan Ali disclosed this at the meeting of G7 ++ friends of the Gulf of Guinea in Lagos, even as he stated that the group has been able to sustain the interest of promoting peace, security and development in the region.
To that effect, the Minister said an anti piracy bill is being legislated on at the National Assembly.
According to him, the hard power approach was spearheaded by the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with other maritime security agencies.
The defence chief reiterated that "in addition to the anti piracy patrols is the installation and deployment of Maritime Domain Awareness Capacity (RMAC) and monitoring of activities at the Nigerian maritime areas.
"Furthermore, legal instruments were developed to aid prosecution of maritime crimes,” Dan Ali said.
"To change the narrative of insecurity and criminality in Nigeria waters, the Nigerian Government adopted the hard and soft power approach, including bilateral and multi-lateral collaborations with organizations and countries within and outside the region.
"The hard power approach is spearheaded by the Nigerian Navy in conjunction with other maritime Administration and safety agency. This approach involved conduct of anti piracy patrols and operations such as operation tsare teku off the Niger Delta Coast."
Speaking on the soft approach method, the Minister explained that it was centred to provide the necessary socio-economic stimulus to better the living conditions of the citizens of the Niger Delta region and keep the youths from criminal activities.
Dan Ali also disclosed that the Federal government has also embarked on infrastructural development projects and dialogue with the local communities towards ensuring peaceful, safe and secure environment in the Niger Delta region.
"To further boost employment and curb crude oil theft, the federal government is in the process of establishing modular refineries in the region," he further stated.