BY ANAYO ONUKWUGHA, Port Harcourt
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has said it will soon launch its deep blue project aimed at tackling insecurity within the country’s maritime corridors.
Special assistant to the NIMASA director-general on communications and strategy, Ubong Essien, disclosed this yesterday while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Essien, who described the deep blue project as the nation’s integrated surveillance and security architecture in the maritime industry, said the project includes air, maritime and human assets.
He stated that in the area of human assets of the project, there were well-trained special forces drawn from the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Army and other security agencies.
Essien said: “The Deep Blue Project is the nation’s integrated surveillance and security architecture in the maritime industry. Integrated in the sense that NIMASA is investing in the air assets, such as three special mission helicopters, such as two special mission aircrafts, such as four unmanned air vehicles, drones.
“Then, in maritime asset, there are two special mission vessels known as DB Abuja and DB Lagos, well-equipped to be out there on the high seas, patrolling our waters with capacity to deploy about 17 fast-moving interceptor boats.
“Those boats are designed for expedition purposes. Should there be any crisis, should there be any development requiring swift response, they can be deployed so that intervention can come in good time.”
“Then, we have human assets where we have well trained special forces from the various arms; from the Navy, the Army and other security agencies. That is why it is integrated; we are all working together.
“Then, of course, we have what we call the C4i, which has to do with intelligence gathering centre, where with an assemblage of computer network, NIMASA had the capability of monitoring activities.
“So, through the C4i we are able to monitor what goes on the sea online real-time. In a matter of weeks, this project is going to be launched.”