The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Bala Hassan, weekend, reiterated the wishes of the Nigerian Navy (NN) to collaborate with the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture.
According to him, these collaboration would be in areas of training, joint patrols and electronic surveillance in order to enable the nation reap the gains of the blue economy.
The FOC made this known when he paid a courtesy visit to the Director Department of Fisheries, Dr Farouq Abdullahi, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Mrs Oladosu Olanike, in Lagos.
While acknowledging the long and cordial relationship between the two organisations, he assured the director of the NN’s resolve and cooperation in the fight against all forms of maritime crimes.
The visit was in continuation of the FOC’s familiarisation tour of the Western Naval Command Area of Responsibility.
Considering the inadequacy of patrol platforms in the fisheries department, the FOC was of the opinion that the Fisheries Department could consider deploying staff of the Fisheries Department onboard NN Ships during patrols to ensure the enforcement of fisheries regulation at sea and thereby contribute to promoting the development of the blue economy.
This, the FOC said, was in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ikechukwu Ogalla’s Strategic Directive promoting effective ocean and maritime governance as well as promoting the development of the blue economy in Nigeria.
With the blue economy in mind, Admiral Hassan also pushed for enhanced collaboration with the Fisheries Department through on shore hands-on training of NN crew to increase their efficiency in effecting fisheries regulation out at sea when not accompanied by fisheries department staff.
Responding to the request, the director noted that the Department of Fisheries was willing to collaborate with the NN on all fronts and looked forward to a progressive relationship between the two organisations.