The director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has assured the general public that two special mission aircraft in the Deep Blue Project fleet of the agency will be deployed to fight oil theft and protect the nation’s economy.
Speaking at the recently held 16th edition of the maritime seminar for judges organised by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Jamoh described oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refining as “unlawful activities capable of threatening the economic and environmental well-being of the country”.
He stressed that the aircraft from the mobile assets of the project will support existing platforms being deployed by other security agencies with which NIMASA has a subsisting Memorandum of Understanding with.
Jamoh explained that the aircraft would assist in patrolling oil facilities, installations and other assets to observe suspicious human and vessel movements in and around the facilities.
“We shall be deploying our two special mission aircraft for aerial surveillance to prevent and fight oil theft in the country. With this, we aim at using the aircraft to patrol sensitive areas, record suspicious human and vessel movements to process intelligence for timely action by our security agencies.
“The oil industry is critical to our national economy and no space of the sector should be left for criminals to occupy or operate. We have recorded gains in our maritime security efforts and more needs to be done to sustain and consolidate these gains.
“Our collaborations with security agencies which we have MoUs with is, among other reasons, to collaborate and work ahead of criminal elements. I am happy to state that our synergies have been beneficial to the country in many ways,” he said.
While restating the agency’s commitment to a ensuring a crime-free and secure maritime domain, Jamoh reminded participants at the seminar of President Muhammadu Buhari’s interest in rebuilding stakeholders’ and investors’ confidence in the country’s maritime sector.
According to him, the approval of the president for procurement of the assets, his coming to commission them in Lagos and their deployment for security duties have contributed immensely to the fight against maritime crimes.