BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The deployment of the deep blue project is expected to end the nation’s multi billion Naira annual loss to piracy.
The director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, who stated this during the graduation ceremony and presentation of certificates to graduates of the Deep Blue Project training at the Air Force base in Lagos, over the weekend, 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, an end has come to such criminalities.
Jamoh assured that Nigeria shall no longer be helpless in the face of piracy which had been rampant in the country.
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 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.
Also speaking, the deputy governor of Ondo State, Mr. Lucky Aiyedatiwa, 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, 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 project is sustained.
Speaking earlier, the chief of air staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, said the graduation marked a major milestone in the actualisation of the deep blue project and indeed towards a lasting cooperation between the Nigeria Airforce and NIMASA.
Amao, who was represented by Air Vice Marshall JMD Kwani, said: “I am elated 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.”