Chinazor Megbolu |
In a bid to promote security in the nation’s territorial waters and coastal areas, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) had graduated intelligence officers under the Deep Blue Project.
NIMASA said it’s a major step towards the full realisation of an integrated surveillance and security architecture to broadly tackle insecurity in the country’s territorial waters even up to the Gulf of Guinea.
At a ceremony, organised by NIMASA during the week, the agency explained Nigeria has taken delivery of the first special mission vessel under the Deep Blue Project.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman, Project Monitoring Team for the Deep Blue Project, Mrs. Olu Mustapha pointed out the project is for a new set of Command, Control, Computer Communication and intelligence (C4i) centre system operators.
She noted the project also known as Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, with location at the NIMASA-owned Nigerian Maritime Resource Development Centre (NMRDC), Kirikiri, will act as the nerve centre for operations and workflow management for all platforms under the Deep Blue Project.
“The graduation of the C4i operators marks another milestone towards the total commencement of the project, “she said.
She maintained that the reason behind the training for the intelligence officers was to ensure adequate capacity to man the assets under the Deep Blue Project, especially with commencement of the receipt of the special assets.
“The assets of the Deep Blue Project must be manned by competent personnel and that is what we are committed to through various training programmes for different components of the project.
“This graduation of C4i system operators will produce additional personnel for the optimisation of the system.”
The Director-General, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside in his speech frowned at the consequences of insecurity in the Nigeria maritime sector and the Gulf of Guinea respectively.
He said the federal government under President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to diversifying the economy hence seeing the maritime sector as an economic game changer in this direction.
Peterside, however, averred security of the maritime environment was a top priority of the agency under his watch.
“The Nigerian maritime domain and the Gulf of Guinea are known globally as major maritime security flashpoints”.
“In addressing the challenges, a bi-ministerial collaboration of the Federal Ministries of Defence and Transportation, as well the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) developed a maritime security architecture comprising all military and security services as well as NIMASA to ensure a conducive environment for maritime to thrive,” Peterside said.
The agency chief executive who was represented by the Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, Engineer Rotimi Fashakin, posited the Federal Government, through NIMASA, had invested ample resources in infrastructure, including the critical manpower component required to run the Deep Blue Project effectively and efficiently.
He urged the graduands to bring the skills and experience they acquired during their training to good use on national security engagements.
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