The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on Tuesday unveiled two Special Mission Vessel to fight piracy and maritime crimes in the country.
The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside who made this known in Lagos , said that the arrival of the vessels affirmed the acclamation to bring back the nation from the gloom where criminals had brought it.
Peterside was represented by Mr Rotimi Fashakin, Executive Director, Operations. The vessels are named ‘DB Lagos’ and ‘DB Abuja’.
``Today’s event brings us to near crescendo in ensuring that we sniff out any form of criminality on our waterways and to bring about absolute tranquility in the nation's water corridors.
``We are here to change the narratives and these vessels will eventually be the game changer for us as a nation,'' he said.
In his presentation, Mr Anthony Ogadi, Head Shipping Development and Coordinator of NIMASA in-house monitoring team of the Deep Blue Project said that the arrival of the vessels was a big win for NIMASA, government and the people.
``The special Mission Vessels are critical assets of the Deep Blue Project and it has intervention platforms which includes land, air and maritime assets.
``The maritime assets include, Special Mission Vessel 1, Special Mission Vessel 2, 17 fast Interceptor Boats, 5 inflatable training boast and 2 spares.
``The air assets include 2 Special Mission Aircrafts, 3 Helicopters, 4 unmanned aerial vehicles, while the land assets include 16 armoured vehicles,'' he said.
He pointed that of the above assets, NIMASA was in receipt of Special Mission Vessel-1 DB Abuja, Special Mission Vessel-2 DB Lagos which just arrived, and 10 fast interceptor boats which had also arrived in the country.
He noted that the remaining 7 fast interceptor boats are expected before the end of 2020, adding that each of the Interceptor boats had combined engine capacity of 9OOHP and could do up to 55hnots.
He said that Six armoured vehicles for land intervention troops had also arrived and the remaining ten are expected in the coming weeks and months.
Ogadi said that the preshipments inspection of the Special Mission Aircraft, the Helicopters and the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle are due this month end.
``The arrival of these assets especially the Special Mission Vessels further attests to the commitment of the Agency and the Federal Government in curbing insecurity in Nigerian waters. Today marks a new dawn for a more secured and stable maritime environment in Nigeria.
``In effect, this milestone in assets delivery inches us closer to full operational take-off of the Deep Project, hence, it marks a huge victory for the Nigerian Maritime Sector in the fight against maritime insecurity,'' he said.
He welcomed the captains and the entire crew of DB Lagos and DB Abuja for successfully sailing these Special Mission Vessels to Nigeria.
``We are aware that sailors usually face very severe conditions at sea but you have endured all of it to bring in these precious assets and to that we salute your bravery at sea,'' he said.