The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has said that the newly-acquired maritime security assets under the Deep Blue Project are already being deployed to the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) in Lagos.
The officer in charge of NIMASA’s Deep Blue Project; Mr Anthony Ogadi disclosed this during a virtual breakfast meeting which held last week with the theme ‘Safe Waters: Am Imperative for Economic Viability and Sustainability’, and which was organised by the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS).
Shipping Position Daily recalls that the Federal Government had sacked Messrs Ocean Marine Services(OMS) from providing the essential services of providing security for ships coming into Lagos ports.
But, the NIMASA top-man said that the agency has been deploying the newly-acquired maritime assets to secure the once-volatile Lagos Secure Anchorage.
“We are using the Secure Anchorage as a test run and it is working very fine, we have been there now in the past two months and we have not recorded any incident of attacks”, Mr Ogadi disclosed, even as he added that efforts are already in top gear to replicate what obtains in Lagos in the Onne axis in Rivers State.
“But we are not working only on the secure anchorage, it is about the entire maritime domain and that is the essence of the deep blue project”, he said.
Meanwhile, participants at the Nigerian Chamber of Shipping seminar stressed the need for a full implementation of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) as well as Automatic Identification System (AIS) to enhance security provision at the Gulf of Guinea (GoG).
The participants who were drawn from the Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, (NSC), National Inland Water-ways (NIWA) Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Maritime Security Providers Association of Nigeria (MASPAN) International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), International Maritime Bureau (IMB), maritime lawyers, the academia as well as the media, also called for full deployment of the newly acquired Deep Blue Assets by NIMASA in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies at the GoG
They also called for the adoption and successful implementation of a justice system that ensures that pirates are arrested, evidence collected and preserved for successful prosecution.