The Nigerian Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, reiterated the Government’s determination to clear the Nigerian territorial waters of criminalities through the Integrated Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project.
According to the minister, because of Nigeria’s coastline length, its exclusive economic zone, and its strategic location on a major shipping route – the Gulf of Guinea – the country cannot afford illegalities, such as piracy, oil theft, sea robbery, and other crimes.
The Deep Blue Project is a conscious effort towards addressing illegality in our territorial waters and, indeed, the Gulf of Guinea
the Director, Maritime Safety and Security, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Engr. Dajuma Dauda, said.
Moreover, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the Deep Blue Project would significantly reduce criminalities in the Gulf of Guinea. He explained that the project is multi-layered and involves the training of selected officers from the various strata of the security services and NIMASA as well as acquisition of assets to combat maritime crime.
Mr. Peterside considers the Deep Blue Project to be a multipronged approach towards tackling insecurity in Nigeria’s territorial waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria is now fulfilling the training aspect of the project, which will be complemented by acquisition of assets, such as fast intervention vessels, surveillance aircraft. Other facilities will also include a command and control centre for data collection and information sharing.
What is more, NIMASA is in collaboration with the National Assembly to ensure that the Antipiracy Bill will pass soon.