To deal with sea-based armed robbers, the Federal Government has hired an Israeli company to handle the security of the nation’s waterways and maritime facilities and train personnel.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Monday in a keynote address at the 2017 World Maritime Day in Lagos.

The minister said the government had engaged the firm for three years to adequately train Nigerian personnel on the security of the sector, after which it would hand over the operation to Nigerians.

The exercise is expected to commence in December and it would cost Nigeria $195 million, about 6 billion naira.

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Amaechi stressed the importance of security in the nation’s maritime sector against the backdrop of the activities of pirates and the huge amount of money firms operating in the shipping sector were currently spending on escort services.

“One of the burning issues in the maritime sector is security. The Federal Government has contracted an Israeli firm, which is going to train our security men. They will buy equipment and dominate Nigeria’s waterways for the next three years.

“Within those three years, the Israeli firm will train our security operatives for them to take over after the expiration of the contract. They are yet to launch because they are still buying the equipment. When you see the equipment on the waterways, people will know they are safe and secure,” Amaechi said.

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