• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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House seeks alternative funding for Deep Blue Project to boost security

Armed Forces, CBN, NPA, others deny connection with $195.3m ‘Deep Blue’ contract

Uduak Odudoh, the acting chairman of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, has called for alternate sources of funding for the Federal Government Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure Project, also known as the Deep Blue Project.

The project is domiciled under the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy and currently funded by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

According to him, seeking additional sources of funding for the project has become significant in ensuring the sustainability of the maritime security project that has helped to curb piracy and other illegality on the nation’s maritime domain.

He said taking the Deep Blue Project seriously will help to arrest issues of oil theft in the Niger Delta and reduced it to zero.

Odudoh acknowledged that the Deep Blue Project has played a significant role in maintaining peace in Nigerian waters in recent years.

He added that the achievements recorded by the NIMASA-Nigerian Navy partnership under the Deep Blue Project have elevated the country to a high international standing in maritime security.

“At the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) Conference last year, Nigeria was commended for maintaining zero pirate attack on our waters in two years. That feat was achieved through the efforts of the Deep Blue Project. When I looked at the budget, I saw provisions for Deep Blue Project management and sustainability. I want to commend NIMASA for this. However, it is pitiful that only NIMASA is funding this project.

“We have no option than to look at the budget, if they require more funds, we would approve it for the benefit of suppression of security challenges in Nigeria. If maritime security is guaranteed, the revenue of NIMASA would increase, and by extension, that of Nigerian Ports Authority and others, this means more money for Nigeria, ” he said.

Also speaking, Dayo Mobereola, director general of NIMASA gave the Agency’s commitment to the sustainability of the project.

“This project has earned Nigeria International recognition by the IMO and we have been taken off the Piracy list. The aim is to continue to sustain it and we will continue to encourage the personnel of the Deep Blue Project to keep it up, and we on our own side would continue to support you as much as humanly possible. Please don’t reduce your efforts as we count on you to make the maritime space more secure,” he said.

Uduak Odudoh also unveiled the aircrew accommodation renovated by the Deep Blue Project, while the NIMASA DG commissioned the interceptors’ marine workshop.