FG to begin deployment of anti-piracy equipment in June

THE Federal Government will begin the deployment of anti-piracy equipment in the nation’s Maritime sector by June 2019.

Disclosing this on Tuesday in Lagos during a stakeholders meeting tagged ‘Regulating The Maritime Industry For a Better Nigeria’, the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon Rotimi Amaechi revealed that the situation as regards insecurity in the nation’s maritime sector is very bad as of now.

According to Amaechi, who later handed over the reins of the Ministry to the Permanent Secretary of The Ministry Of Transportation, “What Government has done was to apologize to stakeholders and assure them of better security.

“The situation is very bad now in terms of insecurity in the maritime industry and the Federal Government is aware of it.

“But what we threw to the stakeholders is that the equipment we need to combat insecurity in the maritime industry is not off-the-shelf equipment.

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“We are buying helicopters, three vessels, nineteen interceptors and they have the capacity to get to the Niger Delta because part of the problems we had initially was that most of the vessels can’t get to the East because of how shallow the water is. The deployment will start in June.

“In June, we will see how we can combat these criminals who are turning our maritime domain into a theatre of war.”

He also assured that complete deployment will be done between June 2019 and 1st quarter of 2020.

“We think that between June and 1st quarter of 2020, we would have completed deployment of all these equipment. Then, Nigerians can hold us responsible for any crime on our waters after then.

“This equipment will be manned mostly by the Navy but all other security agencies will be involved,” the former Minister of Transportation added.