Deep Blue project: Presidential committee visits Warri to ascertain level of preparedness

The Presidential Committee on the $195 million Deep Blue project on Friday visited Warri, Delta State to assess the level of preparedness of assets for the take-off of the project.

On the visit were the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Salihi Magashi (retd); Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral IE Ibas and officials of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The committee, which arrived on a Nigerian Air Force (5N-FGU) aircraft, touched down at the idle Osubi Airstrip and headed for the Nigerian Navy Air Arm station at Effurun where some assets were inspected in closed doors.

The entourage, which included the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral SS Garba and Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Comdr Semiu Adepegba, thereafter, headed for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) jetty where some obsolete boats were inspected.

Speaking after the Minister of Transport, Mr Amaechi had declined comments when prodded by journalists, Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Magashi affirmed that the visit was in continuation of the Deep Blue project of the maritime sector.

“It’s a continuation of our maritime activities. We want to see how we can deploy our assets across the coastal area.

“And so far so good, things are moving according to plans as regards the deep blue sea project.

The assessment we had today was very good and encouraging and we will be on the ground very soon,” he noted.

The million-dollar Deep Blue project conceived by NIMASA is meant to tackle insecurity in Nigeria’s territorial waters for the upsurge of economic activities.

It will be recalled that the committee was in Lagos on Thursday where the Minister of Transport, Mr Amaechi, had disclosed that 85 per cent of equipment and assets for the project take-off had been procured and that by March 2021, all equipment would have been fully acquired.

The Deep Blue project focuses on the security of the Federal Government’s maritime assets from threats of pipeline vandalism, piracy and illegal fishing with the full partnership of the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Air Force and other relevant security agencies.

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