Nigeria receives last set of assets to fight pirate attacks
Determined to fight pirate attacks on Nigerian waters, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has received in Lagos on Wednesday, a Special Mission Aircraft, as part of the final phase of the delivery and installation of assets under the Deep Blue Project.
Bashir Jamoh, director-general of the NIMASA, received the aircraft, together with Timipre Sylva, minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Chudi Offodile, executive director, Finance and Administration of NIMASA.
Jamoh, who had earlier inspected three Special Mission Helicopters at the Naval Base, Apapa, under the project billed for launch on May 21, said the assets would further, improve security on Nigerian waters.
He stated that there would be a drastic reduction in the rate of attacks in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the deployment of the Deep Blue Project assets, saying the goal is to eliminate entirely such incidents.
“The figures we are getting from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a division of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that is specialised in the fight against maritime crimes and malpractices, are encouraging. We aim to completely eradicate security hindrances to shipping and business generally in the Nigerian maritime domain,” he said.
The Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, popularly called the Deep Blue Project, is designed with three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security issues on land, sea, and air.
The land assets comprise the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and about 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit.
On air, there are two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the EEZ, one of which was received on Wednesday, with the second expected to arrive May 18; three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The sea assets consist of two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.