… As it takes delivery of Special Mission Deep Blue Project aircrafts***
It may be a dream come true for Nigeria as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) took delivery of the deep blue special mission aircraft in the final phase of assets delivery under the Deep Blue Project to further boost the nation’s maritime capacity and security up to the Gulf of Guinea.
The Deep Blue Project aircraft which is designed for maritime security was received by the Agency’s Director General in the company of the nation’s Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, and the Agency’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Mr Chudi Offodile.
Dr.Jamoh who is the also Council Chairman and President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria informed that the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, popularly called the Deep Blue Project is designed with three categories of platforms to tackle maritime insecurity issues on land, sea, and air.
According to him, the land assets comprise the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre for intelligence gathering and data collection; sixteen armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and about six hundred specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit.
The air assets consist of two Special Mission Aircrafts for surveillance of the EEZ, one of which was received on May 12 2021 with the second expected to arrive May 18; three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
While the sea assets consist of two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, the efforts of the Agency have drastically reduced the rate of maritime attacks in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the Agency is committed to ensuring that with the deployment of the Deep Blue Project assets, maritime criminal incidents will be entirely eliminated.
He noted that there has been a drastic decrease in the rate of security breaches in the maritime space in recent times which is a clear indication that the Deep Blue Project is making a positive impact.
The Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria is excited that the final delivery of the assets will further improve maritime transportation on Nigerian waters as the Deep Blue Project is designed to secure the country’s waters up to the Gulf of Guinea.
The Agency’s helmsman informed that the latest International Maritime Bureau (IMB) quarterly report on piracy and armed robbery against ships from January to March 2021, recorded only two incidents on Nigerian waters, as against 11 attacks within the same period in 2020.
These figures are proof that NIMASA is committed to making Nigerian waters safe and secure under Jamoh’s administration.
When approached by journalists over the weekend, the Institute’s National Publicity Secretary Mrs. Chizoba Anyika emphasised that the transportation Sector is excited at the Agency’s milestone and is hopeful that the Gulf of Guinea will soon drop the stigma for its notoriety in maritime insecurity which they had held for a long time next to the Gulf of Eden.
The aim is to ultimately have a more stable and secure maritime environment that will boost sea transportation and businesses.
She opined that the acquisition of the assets mark a huge victory for the Nigerian maritime transportation Sector in the fight against maritime insecurity providing for the much-needed intervention for monitoring and swift response to distress calls.
It is also an opportunity for human capacity development in the area of adequately training transport professionals who can man the assets.