Maritime security: NIMASA takes delivery of two special mission vessels

• Vows to flush out pirates

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), on Tuesday, took delivery of two special mission vessels, DB Abuja and DB Lagos in its quest to tackle the menace of maritime insecurity plaguing the nation’s waterways and the Gulf of Guinea at large. This is even as the agency vowed that it is ready to change the narrative by fighting maritime crimes to a standstill through combing of the creeks for hideouts of suspected pirates and sea robbers.

Speaking in Lagos at the reception of the Special Mission Vessels, which is part of the Deep Blue Project that was set up to secure the nation’s waterways, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, warned perpetrators of crimes on the nation’s waterways and Gulf of Guinea to desist or face the full wrath of the law.

Dakuku who was represented by the executive director, Operation of the agency, Engr Rotimi Fashakin, said the deployment of the special intervention vessels on the waters will stop sea robbery, piracy, kidnapping and other maritime vices on Nigeria’s territorial waters.

According to the NIMASA DG, “This ceremony aptly brings us near crescendo of our preparations to stop all criminality on our maritime space. This is the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari to have absolute tranquillity in our maritime space.

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“Armed robbery, banditry and kidnapping have caused embarrassment to us as a nation and as a people.

“We are poised to change the narrative because this is the game changer and this is a message to all those responsible for illegal activities in our maritime space.”

The NIMASA DG further stated that the sophistication of the weapons had shown that Nigeria is ready to stop maritime crimes on its waters.

“I am glad that finally and judging by the sophisticated weapons on display here today, I can say clearly that Nigeria is ready to change the narrative in her maritime space,” the DG added.

Speaking earlier, the Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok Ete-Ibas, commended NIMASA for its contribution towards restoring sanity on the nation’s waterway.

The Navy Chief who was represented by Rear Admiral Muritala Bashir said the combination of NIMASA and Navy’s asset will bring about a secured Nigerian maritime domain.

In his words, “The asset acquisition will contribute to the existing maritime architecture because we have realised over time that an agency cannot do it alone; so, it is in the best interest of all agencies and stakeholders to pull their common resources together so that we don’t duplicate effort in our fight against maritime crime.

“To us, it is a welcome development and we are really happy and we congratulate NIMASA for the success and definitely it will add value to the already existing architecture in the maritime industry.

“Apart from these vessels that just arrived, the Navy is revitalising its fleet that will consist of surface vessels and air assets to confront maritime crimes in the nation’s waters. So a combination of all these things will lead to better security in our maritime domain.”

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