Unemployment Fueling Maritime Insecurity, Say Experts

Some stakeholders in the maritime sector have blamed the insecurity in the sector on the level of unemployment in the country.

They, however, asked the Federal Government to address the problem from its root.

Reports indicated that while there has been a reduction in piracy on Nigerian waterways, the criminality in the sector has yet to disappear.

In a telephone interview with Saturday PUNCH, the Operation Supervisor at Inchcape Shipping Service, Innocent Kalu, said: “It’s very straightforward if the Federal Government or state governments are ready to put an end to the insecurity challenges. The first thing is to get the communities involved. When you have tension in a particular community, you realise that many people in these communities are jobless and sometimes they can resolve to cart away companies’ equipment.

“I think unemployment is one of the major causes of the insecurity we have on our waterways. If the government really wants to get this resolved, it should look for ways to get the host communities involved. If their brothers or sisters are involved in the businesses there, they will find it difficult to destroy things or go away with some staff. So, I think unemployment plays a major role in insecurity in Nigeria’s maritime industry.”

Also, a player in the sector, Donald Izibuike, said, while the Federal Government had initiated some policies to help, the problem had to be addressed from the foundation.

He stated: “When there is hunger, it triggers so many things like insecurity, kidnapping and other crimes. What the government needs to do is to come up with initiatives, whereby every human being will have a sense of belonging. You have people who are unable to pay their medical bills and you also have graduates who don’t get jobs after their youth service.

“If someone has not been able to get a job, the government should be in the position to give the person some stipends or allowances while they make efforts to get a job. This would prevent some people from crime, because some people get into crime when there is no hope. Government should also care for families of security agents and others so that people that should ensure safety won’t collude with criminals.”