- NIMASA Executive Director, Operations, Rotimi Fashakin (left) presenting a certificate to Mr. Ibrahim Gana during the graduation ceremony for the C4i operator course.
Ahead of the commencement of Nigeria’s integrated surveillance and security architecture to broadly tackle insecurity in the nation’s waterways up to the Gulf of Guinea, the country has taken delivery of the first special mission vessel under the Deep Blue Project.
This was disclosed in Lagos by the Chairman of the Project Monitoring Team for the Deep Blue Project, also known as Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, Mrs. Olu Mustapha, during a graduation ceremony for a new set of 24 Command, Control, Computer Communication and Intelligence (C4i) system operators.
The C4i centre, located at the Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre (NMRDC), Kirikiri, acts as the nerve centre for operations and workflow management for all platforms under the Deep Blue Project.
Mustapha, who is also the Director, Project Services at the Ministry of Defence, said the training for the intelligence officers was to ensure adequate capacity to man the assets, especially as the special assets begin to arrive.
According to her, “the assets of the Deep Blue Project must be manned by competent personnel and that is what we are committed to through various training programmes for different components of the project. This graduation of C4i system operators will produce additional personnel for the optimisation of the system.”
Meanwhile, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, lamented the negative effects of insecurity in the nation’s maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea, as the Federal Government sees maritime as an economic game changer.
“The Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea are known globally as major maritime security flashpoints,” Peterside said through his representative and Executive Director, Operations, Rotimi Fashakin.
“In addressing the challenges, a bi-ministerial collaboration of the Federal Ministries of Defence and Transportation, as well the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), developed a maritime security architecture comprising all military and security services, as well as NIMASA, to ensure a conducive environment for maritime to thrive.”
Noting that the Federal Government, through NIMASA, had invested ample resources in infrastructure, including the critical manpower component required to run the Deep Blue Project effectively and efficiently, Peterside tasked the graduands to bring the skills and experience acquired during their training to bear on the national security assignment.
The C4i centre was commissioned in August. It is equipped with alert setting capabilities, Coastal Automatic Identification System (AIS) and SAT AIS signals all over the world, in liaison with some international security networks, for access to database for vessel movement, with capacity for six-year retrospective monitoring of vessels movement.