The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has received mobile assets – 2 unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), 9 interceptor patrol boats and 10 armoured vehicles – in addition to others earlier procured by the Federal Government and commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari to enhance maritime security under the ‘Deep Blue’ project.
The director-general of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, stressed that the additional equipment will help the agency improve on the gains recorded in securing the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria’s maritime domain
The assistant director, public relations, NIMASA, Osagie Edward, disclosed this in a statement made available today (June 17, 2022).
Jamoh thanked President Buhari for his sustained support in the fight against sea piracy and other maritime crimes and described the recently held Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum (GOG-MCF/SHADE) in Abuja as a success in rallying international support for the suppression of maritime insecurity. He added that Nigeria’s commitment in regional maritime security will always be sustained.
He recommended the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act emplaced by Nigeria as a robust statute that supports maritime law enforcement which other countries are considering replicating.
“Nigeria is improving her capacity to fight maritime crime by procuring state-of-the-art technology, upgrading human capacity for effective service delivery and deployment of the assets for round-the-clock patrol, interdiction and reconnaissance with the support of Nigeria Navy and other security agencies we signed MoUs with.
“Indeed, we are further encouraged by President Muhammadu Buhari’s support all the time to ensure adequate security of crew members, vessels and cargoes within and around our waters.
“These newly procured assets would assist us in building on the gains already recorded in the fight against piracy, sea robbery, oil theft, kidnapping, illegal fishing activities and others.”
Jamoh further explained that the main objective of the ‘Deep Blue’ project is to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea. The project has 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.
“Before the recently procured platforms, the ‘Deep Blue’ project had sea assets, including two special mission vessels and 17 fast interceptor boats.
“The air assets comprised of 2 special mission aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), 3 special mission helicopters for search-and-rescue operations and 4 unmanned aerial vehicles, amongst others,” he added.