Adegboyega Oyetola, Nigeria’s Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, has announced that the Federal Government is considering the creation of coast guards to enhance security along the nation’s coastline. This initiative is aimed at safeguarding Nigeria’s extensive marine environment, which includes about 853 kilometers of coastline and roughly 10,000 perimeters of inland waterways.
Oyetola disclosed this development at the 32nd Iragbiji Day celebration in Iragbiji, Osun State. He emphasized the government’s commitment to deploying security equipment and collaborating with existing maritime security forces, such as the navy and marine police, to ensure the safety of waterways. This move is particularly significant for promoting coastal tourism, which requires a secure and stable marine environment.
In addition to his announcement about coastal guards, Oyetola also expressed his discontent with the conversion of a Sustainable Development Goal-Focused Skill Acquisition Centre in the town into a football camp by the state government. He stressed that the facility, established by the Federal Government, should be utilized for its intended purpose of skill acquisition for the youth.
During the celebration, the traditional ruler of Iragbiji, Oba Abdulrosheed Olabomi, highlighted the community’s efforts in using funds raised from the annual event to support education for indigent students. He reported that the proceeds from the 2022 celebration were used to pay for examination fees for 50 underprivileged students, encouraging more community support to extend these benefits to additional students.
The consideration to establish coast guards reflects the Nigerian government’s proactive approach to enhancing maritime security, vital for the nation’s economic and strategic interests. This initiative, coupled with community-driven educational support, underscores a multi-faceted approach to national development and security.