Maritime Security: Odudoh Calls For Diverse Funding For ‘Deep Blue’ Project

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The acting chairman of the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Uduak Odudoh has advocated exploring alternative funding sources for the Federal Government Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure Project, known as the ‘Deep Blue’ project.

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

Meanwhile, the director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Dayo Mobereola emphasised the agency’s dedication to ensuring the project’s sustainability.

Assistant director/head of public relations at NIMASA, Osagie Edward revealed that following the Maritime Security Unit (MSU) Operational Maritime Capability Demonstration in Lagos, Odudoh in the presence of the NIMASA director-general and the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, recognised the significant role the ‘Deep Blue’ project has played in maintaining peace in Nigerian waters. He highlighted the accomplishments of the NIMASA-Nigerian Navy partnership, which have enhanced Nigeria’s international maritime security reputation.

Odudoh stressed the importance of seeking additional funding sources to sustain the project, citing the commendation Nigeria received at the IMO Conference for the absence of pirate attacks in its waters over two years, attributed to the ‘Deep Blue’ project’s efforts. He commended NIMASA for budget provisions for the project’s management and sustainability but expressed concern that only NIMASA funds the project. He emphasised the need for increased seriousness in funding such projects to curb oil theft in the Niger Delta.

NIMASA DG reiterated the agency’s commitment to the project’s sustainability, addressing the men and officers of the Maritime Security Unit. He acknowledged the project’s international recognition by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) and emphasised the importance of sustaining and supporting the project to ensure maritime security.

During the event, the acting chairman unveiled the renovated aircrew accommodation, while the NIMASA DG commissioned the interceptors’ marine workshop. The demonstrations witnessed by the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hassan and executive directors of NIMASA showcased various tactics for enhancing maritime security.

Oluchi Okorafor
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