The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) said its overhauling about six of its existing fast intervention vessels used in patrolling the nation’s waterways against the activities of pirates and sea robbers.
Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA, who disclosed this in a recent tweet @JamohBashir, said the vessels are being overhauled for enforcement purposes.
Upon completion and deployment, the vessels will save Nigeria huge rental cost, which is estimated at about N8.7billion annually used in renting fast intervention vessels.
Jamoh said his administration is revamping the agency’s existing fast intervention vessels which were down and in a dilapidated condition when his management team was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on March 10, 2020.
According to him, the vessels would soon start operation, and that the agency tends to acquire additional vessels in the future to ensure that the nation’s waters are duly secured.
“#ProgressReport. We are reviving our vessels for enforcement purposes. When we came in, our boats & outgoing platforms were down; immediately sent them for drydocking at the Naval dockyard. They will soon be fully back in service; saving us huge rental costs. Plan to acquire more,” the tweet reads.
Recall that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transportation is proposing to spend about N8.7billion for renting of six fast intervention boats with which it hopes to tackle maritime crimes.
In a memo dated July 2020, Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transportation, proposed six companies that will be contracted to supply the boats and the firms are; Pearl H.P.W Limited, Thamson Energy Services Limited, Fairway Offshore Limited, Aquashield Oil and Marine Services Limited, XPO Marine Services Limited and Peace Marine and Energy Limited.
Meanwhile, before the current proposal on boat renting, a similar approval was granted for the same number of vessels, for same amount and for the same purpose in December 2018.
The call up points of the vessels are; Lagos – Badagry axis/Offshore which is allocated to Peace Marine and Energy Limited, Calabar – Eket axis Offshore allocated to Fairway Offshore Limited while Aquashield has its location at the Warri-Escravos Offshore.
Others are the Koko –Sapele axis Offshore operated by XPO Marine Services Limited, Onne – Bonny axis Offshore allocated to Pearl HPW Limited and Nembe- Brass-Yenagoa-Sagbama axis Offshore which is allocated to Thamson Energy Services Limited.