By Innocent Orok
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr Bashir Jamoh, has reiterated that assets deployed under the Deep Blue Project, recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, are manned by proficient officers from the Nigerian security services. Jamoh, stated this in Lagos during the graduation ceremony of officers trained to crew the Special Mission Vessels, the main maritime component of the project also called the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure.
The NIMASA, DG who was represented by the Agency’s Executive Director, Operations, Mr. Shehu Ahmed, said the graduation of 30 officers trained in various part of the globe marked a significant addition to the team of competent personnel manning assets under the maritime security scheme.
According to him “this event is remarkable. It guarantees us competent manpower required to man the Special Mission Vessels. It is a further indication of our commitment to bequeathing a crime free maritime domain to Nigerians and the global maritime community.”
The Director General also stated, “Early in the year and in line with a Presidential directive, we deployed the Special Mission Vessels and the Fast Interceptor Boats to the Lagos Port Secure Anchorage Area. But the event of today takes us further to the full deployment of the two Special Mission Vessels with fully trained and certified crew”.
The Crew of the Special Mission Vessels have concluded localized training and terrain familiarization courses after their initial technical based training abroad.
Also speaking on the training, Coordinator of the Deep Blue Project, was Director, Planning, Research and Data Management Services Department (PRDMSD), NIMASA, Mr. Anthony Ogadi, he said “the crew had nine foreign and 10 local trainings on various platforms of the Deep Blue Project under the supervision of the project contractor, HLSI”. Ogadi further stated that some local trainings for the operation of other assets under the maritime security scheme, including the Special Mission Aircraft, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and armoured personnel carriers were simultaneously on-going at Ikeja and Ojo in Lagos, and Elele in Rivers State respectively.
Speaking also on behalf of the crew, Captain of DB Lagos, Captain Uche Aneke, and that of DB Abuja, Captain Mohammed, thanked NIMASA for facilitating the training. They assured the agency that they would carry out their duties with a high sense of proficiency and professionalism.
Certificates were presented to the officers at the ceremony, which also had in attendance NIMASA’s Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Hon. Chudi Ofodile, and Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Mr Victor Ochei.
The Deep Blue Project is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Federal Ministry of Defence, which is being implemented by NIMASA, with personnel drawn from the Nigerian Air Force, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, and other security agencies.