President Muhammadu Buhari will launch the Deep Blue Project under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection, on June 10, in Lagos, a move that is meant to protect Nigeria’s waterways.
This was disclosed by Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in a statement on Friday.
What the NIMASA boss said
“With the deployment of the assets of the Deep Blue Project, we are entering another level of national security designed for total spectrum maritime security and better domain awareness using some of the latest technology.
This effort to secure our waters will give Nigerians more leverage to harness the enormous resources of our maritime environment and aid the drive towards economic diversification,” Jamoh said.
He added that the main objective of the Deep Blue Project was to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea, and that the project had three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security: on land, sea and air.
“The land assets include the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit.
The sea assets are two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.
The air assets comprise two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone; three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue operations; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
The Deep Blue Project is the first integrated maritime security strategy in West and Central Africa with the aim of tackling the incidences of piracy, sea robbery and other crimes at sea,” he said.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported last month that the Federal Government and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had announced the acquisition of assets for the Deep Blue Project launching formally this month. The project is aimed at protecting Nigeria’s waters from the recent spike in piracy attacks.
West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020. The International Maritime Bureau reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. 130 crew members were kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.