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Maritime Domain Security: Nigeria receives Special Mission Vessels

·        Navy, NIMASA set to fight maritime crimes

L-R: Representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Real Admiral Murtala Bashir; Executive Director, Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Engr. Rotimi Fashakin; Commander, Maritime Guard Command, NIMASA, Commodore Aniedi Ibok; Head, Shipping Development, NIMASA, Mr Anthony Ogadi; and the Operations Officer, Western Naval Command, Commodore Livingstone Izu at the reception ceremony of the arrival of the second Special Mission Vessel of the Deep Blue Project for security on Nigeria’s waterways at the Naval Dockyard, Lagos today, February 25, 2020. 

In another milestone towards
ensuring Nigeria’s security, the Federal Government on Tuesday in Lagos
received two Special Mission Vessels (SMV), geared towards ridding the
Country’s waters of criminal activities.

The Nigerian Navy and the
Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, took delivery of the
Special Mission Vessels under the Deep Blue Project.


A view of one of the vessels


 The vessel, DB Lagos and
DB Abuja, which arrived the country recently are equipped with sophisticated
intelligence gathering capability for timely detection and response to illegal
activities in the Nigerian maritime domain.

“Piracy is an act inimical to the
growth of the Nigerian maritime sector and we are prepared, more than ever
before, to give it all it takes to end this nefarious act,” said Ibas, who was
represented by the Chief Security Officer, Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral
M. M. Bashir.


L-R: Representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Real Admiral Murtala Bashir; Executive Director, Operations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Engr. Rotimi Fashakin and the Commander, Maritime Guard Command, NIMASA, Commodore Aniedi Ibok at the Naval Dockyard during the reception of the special mission vessel.

He stated that the officers who
would man the vessels will be given adequate training under the Deep Blue
Project so that the special features of the vessels can be adequately utilised
for the purpose of combating maritime illegalities.

On his part, the Director General
of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said pirates and other criminals on the
country’s maritime domain up to the Gulf of Guinea, would soon meet their
waterloo, with the arrival and installation of the critical assets under the
Deep Blue Project.

Dakuku, who was represented by
the Agency’s Executive Director, Operations, Engr. Rotimi Fashakin, disclosed
that aside of these two special mission vessels, 10 Fast Interceptor Boats have
also arrived the country and seven more are expected later in the year.
“Today marks a new dawn for a
more secure and stable maritime environment in Nigeria. This milestone in asset
delivery inches us closer to full operational take-off of the Deep Blue
Project, hence it marks a huge victory for the Nigerian maritime sector in the
fight against maritime insecurity,” he said.

The DG disclosed that the DB
Abuja and DB Lagos, which are built to be intelligently operated, also served
as mother vessels to Fast Intervention crafts that are able to respond to
distress calls swiftly.

 Each of the interceptor boats has a combined engine
capacity of 900HP and can do up to 55knots. 

He also said that each of the
vessels would be commanded by a Navy captain with full complement of naval
personnel.

It would be recalled that the
Federal Executive Council (FEC) granted approval for a holistic maritime
security architecture, which is a multi-pronged approach towards fighting
piracy. Aside the sea assets, there are also land and air assets, which are
still expected in the country before the end of the year.

NIMASA also operates a Command
and Control Centre at the Regional Maritime Resource Coordination Centre
(RMRCC), which is also part of the Deep Blue Project.
Giving a breakdown of the assets
being installed under the Deep Blue Project at a press conference in Lagos
recently, the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi
revealed that a good number of the assets had arrived the country.

He also hinted that the first
special mission aircraft will be in the country before the end of the first
quarter of the year, while six armoured personnel carriers were already in the
country, and the first unmanned aerial vehicle is expected soon.

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