The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Bashir Jamoh has assured that Nigeria shall no longer be helpless in the face of piracy which had been rampant in the country.
Jamoh speaking during the graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates to graduates of the Deep Blue Project training at the Air Force base in Lagos yesterday, informed that no more shall the country be scared of pirates or criminals who carry out frivolous activities on the country waterways
He said the completion of the training is another move in the area of the nation’s maritime security, aimed at achieving the desired goal of the preventing illegal activities between the country economic zone and beyond.
He said protection of safety of life at sea as well as prevention of illegal activities in the nation’s brown waters and inland waterways were dear to the heart of NIMASA.
Jamoh acknowledged that the country is losing billions of Naira every year as a result of pirates and criminals, he however confirmed that, with the full deployment of the Deep Blue Project Asset, an end has come to such criminalities.
Also speaking, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, who was the special guest of honour, commended NIMASA for the blue project initiative and for involving the eight littoral states in its arrangements for the deployment of the deep blue project assets, while stating that the deep blue project will drive the blue economy as an alternative source of income for the government.
Aiyedatiwa, however questioned the sustainability of the project after the present administration leaves office, while calling on the government to ensure that the Deep Blue Project is sustained.
According to him ” Ondo state is one of the eight littoral states under the deep blue project of NIMASA, and from the record known to me, Ondo state has the longest coastline,
He said: “We appreciate the Director General NIMASA, for involving the littoral states in the whole arrangement of the deep blue project, let me also commend the effort of NIMASA for this great initiative; it is not easy to implement the blue economy for Nigeria, so that we can have alternative sources of revenue, and the deep blue project will drive the deep blue economy.
“I am delighted today also to see that our personnel are trained to man all of these security assets; we cannot leave our security in the hands of foreigners, that is why we are in control,
“A foundation is being laid by this administration and I want to believe this foundation will be strong enough to be sustained after this administration. Can we sustain it? What is on ground has shown that this deep blue project has come to stay and what will allow it to stay is, if it’s sustained” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chief of Air Staff, who was represented by Air Vice Marshall JMD Kwani, Chief of Training and Operations, Headquarters said the graduation marked a major milestone in the actualization of the deep blue project and indeed towards a lasting cooperation between the Nigeria Airforce and NIMASA.
In his words: “I am delighted to be in your midst today, to witness the graduation ceremony of the Air force personnel who have completed trainings on various specialties and trades on the CJ3 special mission aircrafts and AR3 UAV under the deep blue project.
“You will recall that President Muhammadu Buhari recently commissioned the Deep Blue Project on 10th of July 2021, in line with the administration determination to ensure enforcement within Nigeria exclusive economic zones, this graduation therefore marks a major milestone in the actualization of the deep blue project and indeed towards a lasting a lasting cooperation between the Nigeria Airforce and NIMASA,
“No doubt, human capacity development to man various aspect of this projects is important to the realization of the project. To this end the Nigeria Airforce clearly selected among the best of its personnel for the training as pilots, engineers, technicians, mission system equipment operators and C4i operators to effectively man the platform.
“I am glad to know that all these are strategically positioned to effectively support NIMASA and provide security. Furthermore, I must say the graduation of the personnel today who will be operating alongside sister services agencies, resonate well with the Chief of Air staff’s mission which is to empower and sustain air power capabilities in pursuit of national security apparatus”.
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