Kidnapping: NIMCC Advocates Use Of Personal Locator Beacons As Security Measure


NEMA rescue helicopter

By Sadiq Umar

As the incidence of kidnapping increases in the country, Nigerians have been advised to get personal locator beacons as part of safety precautions.

Head of the Nigerian Mission Control Center (NIMCC), Navy Captain Micheal Igwe, said in this time of insecurity, moorland personalities need to have the personal locator beacons (PLB) so that in the case of kidnapping or accidents in remote areas they can be easily located.

Speaking with journalists at the sensitization and awareness forum for COSPAS-SARSAT Beacon users organized by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Lagos Tuesday, Igwe said the PLB will go a long way in solving kidnapping cases faster and easier.

He informed that the number of PLBs in the country has increased from about 200 last year to over 300 as corporate companies and individuals subscribe to the locator beacons which cost around $500.

Meanwhile, he said the annual sensitization of beacon users have reduced the level of false alerts that the control center receives on an annual basis.

The false alerts, he said had dropped significantly from 162 as at December 2013 to 61 as at December 2014.

On his own part, the deputy director, Search and Rescue at NEMA, Vincent Onimode who represented the director general of NEMA, urged airline and vessel operators to ensure that they have functional 406MHZ beacons.

This he said would ensure that search and rescue efforts are more effective in the case of air crash or sinking vessels.

He further urged operators in the maritime and aviation industries to ensure that they strictly comply with the international regulations regarding the use of 406MHZ beacons.

Igwe had also earlier stated that the center is currently working on getting legislative approval in sanctioning erring companies that failed to abide by the functional 406MHZ beacons with a fine of $5000.