Nigeria receives the final collection of assets needed to combat pirate attacks

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Nigerian pirates

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), determined to combat pirate attacks in Nigerian waters, received a Special Mission Aircraft in Lagos on Wednesday, as part of the Deep Blue Project's final phase of asset delivery and installation.

The aircraft was received by Bashir Jamoh, director-general of NIMASA, along with Timipre Sylva, minister of state for Petroleum Resources, and Chudi Offodile, executive director, Finance and Administration of NIMASA.

Jamoh, who had earlier inspected three Special Mission Helicopters at the Naval Base, Apapa, as part of the project, which is scheduled to begin on May 21, said the assets would enhance security on Nigerian waters.

With the deployment of the Deep Blue Project assets, he claimed that the rate of attacks in the country's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will be drastically reduced, with the goal of completely eliminating such incidents.

“The figures we are getting from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), a division of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) that is specialised in the fight against maritime crimes and malpractices, are encouraging. We aim to completely eradicate security hindrances to shipping and business generally in the Nigerian maritime domain,” he said.

The Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, popularly called the Deep Blue Project, is designed with three categories of platforms to tackle maritime security issues on land, sea, and air.

The land assets comprise the Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (C4i) for intelligence gathering and data collection; 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol; and about 600 specially trained troops for interdiction, known as Maritime Security Unit.

On air, there are two Special Mission Aircraft for surveillance of the EEZ, one of which was received on Wednesday, with the second expected to arrive May 18; three Special Mission Helicopters for search and rescue; and four Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The sea assets consist of two Special Mission Vessels and 17 Fast Interceptor Boats.