Deep Blue Project assets reducing attacks, says NIMASA

The Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, said there has been a drastic reduction in the rate of attacks in the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) with the deployment of Deep Blue Project assets.

Jamoh who stated this on Wednesday as he received the last batch of the Special Mission Aircraft asset in Lagos in the company of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, and NIMASA’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Chudi Offodile.

He said the final phase of the delivery and installation of assets under the Deep Blue Project, which is designed to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea, is aimed at improving security and eliminating attacks on the nation’s waters.
   “The figures we are getting from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a specialised division of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), are encouraging. We ultimately aim to completely eradicate security hindrances to shipping and business generally in the Nigerian maritime domain,” he said.

The international organisation, with a global focal point in the fight against maritime crimes and malpractices, had in recent months reported a consistent year-on-year drop in the number of attacks on ships in Nigerian waters.

The latest IMB quarterly report of piracy and armed robbery against ships recorded only two incidents in Nigerian waters between January and March this year, compared to the 11 attacks within the same period last year.

According to Jamoh, the figures are “proof that we can make our waters safe and secure, and we are determined to do so”. “Today, we are here to receive the final phase of assets under the Deep Blue Project to further boost our capacity to secure our waters up to the Gulf of Guinea,” he added. Meanwhile, Jamoh had earlier inspected three special mission helicopters at the Naval Base, Apapa, under the project billed for launch on May 21.

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