Steve Agbota and Uche Henry
The immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has said the motivation behind the Ministry of Transport/Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)/HLSI partnership was primarily to halt the insecurity in the Nigerian waters and its attendant revenue leakages.
Amaechi, who stated this in Lagos recently at a high stakeholders’ interactive session, said:
‘’Criminals must be chased out of Nigerian territorial waters to make it safe and attractive for more foreign investment. The Federal Government is committed to this project hence the need to collaborate with HLSI Systems in this way.
‘’All vessels plying Nigerian territorial waters would be identified and monitored from point to point throughout the period of their stay in Nigeria to ascertain all activities conducted’’.
Representatives of HLSI Limited proceeded to give a detailed presentation, under the theme, ‘Establishment of an Integrated National Security and Waterway Protection Infrastructure in Nigeria – Deep Blue Project’ in which the company reviewed the progress recorded in both the areas of procurement of maritime security assets as well as the human capacity aspect involving training courses.
To date, C4I Systems Operator, Intelligence Systems Operator and Basic Infantry training courses have been successfully conducted with well-trained graduates emerging from those programmes while a timetable for the delivery of maritime security assets was laid out in the course of the presentation.
An overview of the Deep Blue Project reveals the system as providing a 360 degree eagle eye view of Nigeria’s maritime domain, thereby equipping NIMASA (as the designated authority) with comprehensive and real time information on every activity conducted by vessels within the Nigerian waters.