…Air Force, Navy join battle
The game is up for oil thieves and pirates operating on the nation’s territorial waters. The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has acquired a surveillance equipment for monitoring illegal activities on the maritime corridor.
NIMASA will operate the equipment in collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy. They are collaborating to curb oil theft, piracy and other criminalities, The Nation has learnt.
More than 5,000 international ships ply the territorial waters yearly. Some of the vessels, sources said, violate international laws by engaging in illegal activities.
The Air Force has acquired three maritime 128-6, F27 and ART-42-500 jets and other planes to monitor the activities of oil thieves and other criminals.
The high –tech plane ART-42-500 jet is one of ythe seven to be operated by NIMASA and the Air Force.
According to Air Force Sergeant Sunday Olalekan Omotosho, the plane is fitted with sensors, radar and Electro –Optic Surveillance and Tracking (EOST) equipment, which houses three cameras to monitor ships in Nigeria Nigerianwaters.
“when fully operational, no vessel can escape our coverage” he told reporters before a demonstration flight from Lagos to Escravos in the Niger Delta and over offshore platforms in the oil producing Southeast.
The 20- seat can fly as low as 200 feet (60 metres) above the sea and passes on information about maritime traffic to the navy, who can intervene with fast-attack craft if necessary, he added.—The Nation.