Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi stated that the secure Anchorage Area contract has been officially suspended, commenting that it is an illegal act to create anchorage for purposes of providing security.
Specifically, during a media briefing on the Deep Blue project organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Lagos, Mr Amaechi added that the project was false and projected that it is not possible that an individual can protect a country. Yet, he noted that this represents a failed system.
Concerning the initiative, the Secure Anchorage Area Contract is an area outside the Lagos port that the Nigerian Navy, with a private company, has defined as a secure place where vessels can anchor safely from the threat of pirate attack.
Therefore, the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) stopped the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) due to security concerns.
Local media reported that the NPA supports that the security of Nigeria’s waters is the responsibility of NIMASA, the Nigerian Navy and Marine Police, and not a business venture.
The piracy in Nigeria poses a great challenge for the country, as according to a 2019 report by the United Nations, Nigeria lost approximately $2.8 billion during 2018, as a result of crude oil and maritime crimes. Concerning this issue, Mr Amaechi commented that this problem is due to hunder, education and poverty, urging the country to invest in infrastructure that will result to additional employment opportunities.
In addition, during the media briefing, it was stated that the Government is launching a maritime architecture that will ensure that there is the right infrastructure to protect Nigeria’s waterways.
Following, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside noted that the country is being assisted by Israel, which will provide training and assets for the security operatives who will man the assets on the country’s waterways.
Concluding, Mr Dakuku added that “80% of the assets for ensuring security of the waterways would be in the country by June and would be manned by the security operatives trained.”