The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, has said that the Integrated Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, will get rid of piracy, maritime crimes and other ciminalities on Nigerian territorial waters.
Amaechi, who was represented by the Director, Maritime Safety and Security of the Ministry, Dajuma Dauda, disclosed this last week in Lagos at the graduation ceremony for participants of the C4I Intelligence System Operator Course for the Deep Blue Project, saying that the 853km long Nigeria coastline and the country’s location in the Gulf of Guinea made it strategic for both maritime activities and security issues.
He added: “The length of our coastline, our exclusive economic zone, as well as our strategic location on a major shipping route, which is the Gulf of Guinea, means that we cannot afford illegalities such as piracy, oil theft, sea robbery and other crimes. The Deep Blue Project is a conscious effort towards addressing illegality on our territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea.”
While delivering his welcome address, the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, said the Deep Blue Project would reduce criminalities in the Gulf of Guinea.
Dakuku explained that the project was multifaceted and involved the training of selected officers from the various strata of the security services and NIMASA as well as acquisition of assets to combat piracy and maritime crime.
He stated: “The Deep Blue Project is a multipronged approach towards tackling insecurity on our territorial waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea. What we are doing is fulfilling the training aspect of the project and this will also be complemented by acquisition of assets, such as fast intervention vessels, surveillance aircraft, and other facilities, including a command and control centre for data collection and information sharing that will aid our goals of targeted enforcement.”