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MARITIME-SECURITY: Nigeria, Japan Sign Exchange Notes On Speedboats to Reinforce Deep-Blue Project

MARITIME-SECURITY: Nigeria, Japan Sign Exchange Notes On Speedboats to Reinforce Deep-Blue Project
Written by Maritime First


Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba (middle); Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga (left) and Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh during the signing of an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for the Economic and Social Development Programme in Abuja.

…As NIWA Plans to make 10,00km Waterways navigable***

While the Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for an Economic and Social Development Programme involving the acquisition of a High-Speed Boat to reinforce services for coastal security in Nigeria, the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority NIWA has promised to make the nation’s 10,000km-waterways navigable all year round.

The Honorable Minister of  State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba signed on behalf of Nigeria, while the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga signed on behalf of the Japanese Government, with the Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, being the implementing partner, was in attendance.

Prince Agba who noted that the procurement of the High-Speed Boat worth $2.78 million dollars, would greatly enhance the operations of the Deep Blue project, lauded the Japanese government for their interest and interventions in Nigeria for Economic development.

“This project to strengthen the operations of NIMASA will definitely strengthen the partnership between the Government of Japan and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

“Nigeria also appreciates the recent exchange of notes we signed for Emergency Improvement of Electricity Supply Facilities in Abuja, and the role Japan played in the development of the National Power Development Master-plan designed to guide the Government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for Nigeria”, the Honorable Minister said.

L-R: Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga and Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh during the signing of an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for the Economic and Social Development Programme in Abuja.

On his part, the Director-General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh assured the Japanese Government that the Agency working with relevant stakeholders will ensure the sustainability of the recent success in the war against piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

“This High-Speed Boat is a welcome addition to our growing arsenal of platforms and assets to reinforce service for coastal security, not only in Nigeria but also in the Gulf of Guinea, as over 60% of shipping activities in the region pass through Nigerian waters”.

“This vessel will be incorporated into the Deep Blue project which already has 2 special Mission Vessels; 2 Special Mission Aircrafts; 3 Special Mission Helicopters; 10 Unmanned Air Systems and vehicles; 17 fast-moving interceptor boats; 16 armoured vehicles and the C4i centre.”

Ambassador Matsunaga Kazuyoshi noted the project is to support the measures adopted by the Nigerian Government to deal with the threat of the blue economy, to prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery, and any other unlawful act against ships in Nigerian waters.

Honorable Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba (right) and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga (left) holding the signed Exchange of Note (E/N) document while the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh (middle) looks on during the signing of the Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese Government for the Economic and Social Development Programme in Abuja.

The Ambassador said “in the Gulf of Guinea, as you know, the piracy problem is hindering the economic development of the coastal areas.

A slowdown in economic development impoverishes the coastal population, forcing some of them into piracy for their livelihood.

We need to break this vicious cycle.”

Economic and Social Development is one of the guiding principles of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD.

“The people and Government of Japan hope this project will enable NIMASA to reinforce their operations and services for coastal security in Nigeria, strengthen Nigeria’s counter-piracy efforts and prove useful for the security of the Gulf of Guinea.

 

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In another development, the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), has promised to make the nation’s 10,000km-waterways navigable all year round.

The Board Chairperson, Sen Binta Masi-Garba, made the promise on Tuesday during the Inaugural meeting of the board at the NIWA Headquarters in Lokoja.

Masi-Garba expressed regret that though “Nigeria is richly blessed with more than 10,000km Waterways, only 3,800km out of it is being navigated all year round.

“As a board, it’s our mandate and that of the authority to make the entire 10,000km waterways navigable all year round with a view to providing an alternative mode of transportation for the evacuation of goods and passengers.

“This is a big task placed on the authority, therefore, all hands must be on deck to achieve the desired goal

“The board, as a neutral platform for dialogue and collaboration as well as a place to openly share ideas, and experiences and discuss solutions, we will from time to time bring together stakeholders, operators and multilateral agencies and academics to discuss the solution.

“I want to assure you that as the chairman, I will do my best to discharge my duties and join hands with well-meaning stakeholders to create and bequeath an organization that is better than the one we have today.

“I will be fully committed and willing to deploy time and resources towards the attainment of the authority’s vision to establish and sustain a first-class organization managed professionally and responsibly

The chairperson said what she expected to see was a NIWA that would be flexible and adaptable to the needs of Nigerians and recognized and respected locally and internationally

Masi-Garba, however, expressed the hope of overcoming the challenges of the authority if only the support, cooperation and guidance crucial to bringing about the desired positive change was gotten.

Earlier in his welcome address, the chairman of NIWA, Chief George Moghalu, said the board was faced with a series of challenges ranging from insufficient funding and lack of infrastructure.

Moghalu expressed gladness that at last NIWA had a board in place and hoped that some of the challenges of the authority would be well tackled.

“We want to tell you that we are very happy to have you on board to help solve our problem.

“The management is willing to tap into your wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

He said that the authority tries to improve its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) toward addressing the challenges, especially infrastructure such as vessels, boats, and jetties most of which are locally made in Port Harcourt.

“If we really want to overcome the challenges of waterways, we have to get more of these vessels and boats locally made here in Nigeria,” the chairman said.

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