- Says the project requires policy initiative for sustainability
(Report by Udeme Clement):
As Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), concludes plan for the official launch of Deep Blue Project in Lagos, Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria (MAJAN), has called for immediate
disbursement of Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) to qualified beneficiaries.
This formed part of the Communique issued by MAJAN at the end of its special Congress, held at Apapa, Lagos yesterday.
MAJAN under the leadership of Comrade Ray Ugochukwu, as President, stressed that urgent disbursement of the Cabotage fund becomes imperative to enable local investors participate fully in harnessing the potentials of blue economy in Nigeria.
The Association applauded NIMASA for being on the forefront of driving the concept of blue economy; but advised that relevant maritime stakeholders be carried along to enhance investments flow in the sector.
The Communique also emphasised the importance of making the ‘Deep Blue Project’ policy driven initiative, in order to ensure sustainability in the long-run.
The document stressed that if adequately harnessed, blue economy has enormous potentials to create jobs, fund the nation’s budget and generate more revenue for government, like what obtains in Singapore and other advanced countries.
The Congress, which lasted several hours focused its deliberation on the need to sustain the project for more economic benefits to Nigerian nation.
Recall that the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, had earlier given insight into what the project entails.
According to him; “The main objective of the Deep Blue Project is to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea. The Project has three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security on land, sea and air. The land assets include Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit.
“The sea assets include two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats. The air assets comprise of two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ); three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue operations; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.
“The Deep Blue Project is the first integrated maritime security strategy in West and Central Africa with the aim of tackling incidences of piracy, sea robbery and other crimes at sea.”
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