Thursday, August 11, 2022

Nigeria, Japan Sign Exchange Notes On Deep Blue Project 

NIMASA Japan
L-R: The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, Kazuyoshi Matsunaga; Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba and director-general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh during the ceremony in Abuja.

The Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed an Exchange of Note (E/N) with the Japanese government for an economic and social development programme involving the acquisition of high-speed boats to reinforce services for coastal security in Nigeria, with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as the implementing partner.

The Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, signed on behalf of the Japanese government, with the director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh in attendance.                                                     

Agba noted that the procurement of the high-speed boat worth $2.78 million will greatly enhance the operations of the Deep Blue project. He commended the Japanese government for their interest and interventions in Nigeria for economic development.

“This project to strengthen the operations of NIMASA will strengthen the partnership between the government of Japan and the Federal Republic of Nigeria. 

“Nigeria also appreciates the recent exchange of notes we signed for emergency improvement of electricity supply facilities in Abuja and the role Japan played in the development of the National Power Development Master-plan designed to guide the government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for Nigeria,” he said.

Earlier, Jamoh, assured the Japanese government that the agency will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure the sustainability of the recent success in the war against piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

“This high-speed boat is a welcome addition to our growing arsenal of platforms and assets to reinforce service for coastal security, not only in Nigeria but also in the Gulf of Guinea, as over 60 per cent of shipping activities in the region pass through Nigerian waters.

“This vessel will be incorporated into the Deep Blue project which already has 2 special mission vessels, 2 special mission aircrafts, 3 special mission helicopters,10 unmanned air systems and vehicles, 17 fast-moving interceptor boats, 16 armoured vehicles and the C4i centre.”

Kazuyoshi noted the project is to support the measures adopted by the Nigerian government to deal with the threat of the blue economy, to prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery, and any other unlawful act against ships in Nigerian waters.

“In the Gulf of Guinea, as you know, the piracy problem is hindering the economic development of the coastal areas. A slowdown in economic development impoverishes the coastal population, forcing some of them into piracy for their livelihood. We need to break this vicious cycle.”

Economic and social development is one of the guiding principles of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). The people and government of Japan hope this project will enable NIMASA to reinforce its operations and services for coastal security in Nigeria, strengthen Nigeria’s counter-piracy efforts and prove useful for the security of the Gulf of Guinea.

Oluchi Okorafor
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