NIMASA’s Deep Blue Project for launch in June

  • Some of the fast-moving vessels acquired for the purpose

By Anthony Nwachukwu

The Federal Government said it would launch the nation’s maritime security project, aimed at improving security in its maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea (GoG), having fully assembled the necessary human and material resources.

Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, told the Belgium Ambassador to Nigeria, Daniel Bertrand, during the diplomat’s courtesy visit Tuesday in Abuja that President Muhammadu Buhari would launch the project in Lagos in June, according to a statement from the ministry.

He explained to Bertrand that the crisis in the maritime sector was insecurity, and “and it’s more complex than the world knows, but the Federal Government has come up with a solution and it is ready to take off. The navy, police, army and State Security Service are involved.

“If it is successful, in the near future there will be improvement in maritime security, then other countries in the Gulf of Guinea can adopt it.”

He added: “75 per cent or 65 per cent of crime comes from our water and if we are able to eliminate it, then we will be making a lot of progress.

“If you are in the air, you see what is happening in the water, you are inside the water, you will be able to respond; the helicopter has the capacity to drop in the naval men when they see anything suspicious.”

He assured that he would readily partner and share information with anyone in need of it, for the purpose of securing the GoG.

Earlier, Bertrand had officially requested the Nigerian Government to support the Belgium candidate for a position at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

According to him, the country has also keenly observed what is happening in the GoG and would like to assist and support the implementation of maritime security in the area.

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