According to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, the Federal Government initiated ‘Deep Blue Project’ will safeguard the nation’s territorial waters from water criminals through the integrated security and waterways protection infrastructure.
Water piracy is common in the Niger Delta
The introduction of this new project was made during the graduation of the C4I Intelligence System Operator Course for the Deep Blue Project. This ceremony was graced by many notables which included the Nigerian Armed Forcespersonnel led by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin who was represented by Rear Admiral A. Akinrinade.
The Minister of transportation, Amaechi was represented by the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Engr. Danjuma Dauda.
He disclosed that what made it vital for both maritime activities and security was the 853-kilometre long Nigeria coastline and the country’s location in the Gulf of Guinea.
Government personalities at the event
The Director, Engr. Danjuma Dauda, representing the Minister declared:
“The length of our coastline, our exclusive economic zone, as well as our strategic location on a major shipping route, which is the Gulf of Guinea, means that we cannot afford illegalities, such as piracy, oil theft, sea robbery, and other crimes. The Deep Blue Project is a conscious effort towards addressing illegality in our territorial waters and indeed, the Gulf of Guinea.”
He categorized the project as a multipronged approach towards tackling insecurity in Nigeria’s territorial waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea. Adding that the deep blue project was currently undertaking the training aspect of the project. To complement this would be the acquisition of assets, such as fast intervention vessels, surveillance aircraft, and other facilities, including a command and control center for data collection and information sharing. The above resources would form the framework to attain the project objectives of targeted enforcement.
He concluded by saying that the NIMASA will be active both in the regional as well as the domestic level. The ‘Deep Blue Project’ will work in hand with the National Assembly to take steps that will enable the Anti-Piracy Bill to be passed speedily.
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