Saturday, May 1, 2021 11:17 pm
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, has started massive clearing up of debris and wreckage blocking the nation’s coastal Waterways.
According to the agency,the new drive to cleare up the waterways is part of the Deep Blue Project, the cardinal policy thrust of the administration of the current Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh.
So far, some parts Port Harcourt Bonny route in waterways have been cleared of water hyacinth, plastics and debris.
Ubong Essien, the Special Assistant to the Director-General of NIMASA on Communications and Strategy told journalists in Port Harcourt that ensuring the safety on the Nigerian territorial waters is a top priority to the Agency.
He said NIMASA has footprints to ensure all across the coasts the cuts across the eight coastal states starting from Bayelsa to Cross River.
He hinted that need to efficiently fight insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea led to the establishment of the Deep Blue Project -(DBP) in 2019 which will soon be launched.
According to Essien, DBP encompasses an Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure aims to comprehensively address insecurity and criminality in Nigeria’s territorial waters and exclusive economic zone.
Ubong explained further that DBP involves the acquisition of assets ,like: unmanned aerial vehicles and fast intervention vessels), development of infrastructure (e.g., new command and control centers), inter-agency information-sharing, and enhanced training of security services, among other things.
He said 80 percent of the necessary assets had been delivered at the Command, Control, Computer Communication, and Information Centre (C4i) NIMASA’s base in Kirikiri, Lagos.
He explained the when the DBP becomes fully Operational, sea piracy and armed robbery and illicit trades in the region will be tackled.
With 98 total incidents of piracy and armed robbery occurring in West and Central Africa in 2019, most of which were concentrated off Brass and Bonny, Nigeria, the DBP has the potential to strengthen Nigerian counter-piracy efforts.