The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) is to launch new Deep Blue Project (DBP) “in the coming weeks” as part of measures to boost maritime security, safety and shipping development.
Under the arrangement, NIMASA is also investing in air assets through acquisition of three special mission helicopters, two special mission aircraft and four unmanned air vehicles.
Speaking at an interactive session with Journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday, the Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh said: “On maritime assets, the agency is also investing in two massive well-equipped special mission vessels that will patrol the high seas.
Represented by his Special Assistant on Communications and Strategy, Ubong Essien, Jamoh said:“The vessels have capacity to deploy about 17 fast-moving interceptor boats – which are designed for interdiction purposes should there be any crises requiring swift response.
“On human assets, we have well-trained Special Forces from the various security agencies, including, navy, army and police, among other security agencies.”
The Director General said the agency had also integrated the services of the special police unit, C4I to run its intelligence gathering centre.
According to him, the agency has invested in a computer command and control centre that will be used to effectively monitor activities on the waterways.
Meanwhile, NIMASA has recruited 250 new cadets to man its various platforms in the Lagos-Bayelsa coastal corridor.
The DG said:“So, the 250 cadets are about to be sent for training as part of our commitment to develop manpower to man our many platforms that are coming on stream soon.
“We felt that we must develop our hands locally, which will have ripple effects on the nation’s economy.”
Jamoh said he was working hard to ensure the full implementation of his three-point agenda of boosting maritime security, safety and shipping development.