- NIMASA Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chudi Offodile (right), presenting a certificate to one of the graduates of the Deep Blue Project’s Special Mission Vessel at the ceremony in Lagos
By Anthony Nwachukwu
Surveillance and protection of Nigeria’s maritime domain has been boosted with the graduation 30 officers to crew the crew the special mission vessels of the recently launched Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, called the Deep Blue Project.
Disclosing this during their graduation ceremony, the Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, reiterated that the facility, which is the main maritime component of the project, is being manned by proficient officers from the Nigerian security services.
According to Jamoh, who was represented by the agency’s Executive Director, Operations, Mr. Shehu Ahmed, the graduation of the 30 officers trained in various parts of the globe marked a significant addition to the team of competent personnel manning assets under the maritime security scheme.
“This event is remarkable,” Jamoh noted. “It guarantees us competent manpower required for the special mission vessels. It is a further indication of our commitment to bequeathing a crime-free maritime domain to Nigerians and the global maritime community.”
He added: “Early in the year, and in line with a presidential directive, we deployed the special mission vessels and the fast interceptor boats to the Lagos Port Secure Anchorage Area. But the event of today takes us further to the full deployment of the two special mission vessels with fully trained and certified crew.”
The crew is said to have concluded localised training and terrain familiarisation courses after their initial technical-based training abroad, a statement from the NIMASA Assistant Director, Public Relations, Osagie Edward, further disclosed.
Coordinator of the Deep Blue Project, who is also NIMASA’s Director of Planning, Research and Data Management Services Department (PRDMSD), Mr. Anthony Ogadi, disclosed that the crew had nine foreign and 10 local trainings on various platforms of the Deep Blue Project under the supervision of the project contractor, HLSI.
According to him, some local trainings for the operation of other assets under the maritime security scheme, including the special mission aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, and armoured personnel carriers were simultaneously on-going at Ikeja and Ojo in Lagos, and Elele in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, on behalf of the crew, Captain of DB Lagos, Capt. Uche Aneke, and that of DB Abuja, Capt. Mohammed, thanked NIMASA for facilitating the training and assured that they would carry out their duties with a high sense of proficiency and professionalism.