HeadlinesMaritime Security & Law

NIMASA gets reps commendation over transparency in $195m deep blue project execution 


Abiola Seun

The House of Representatives, Committee on Nigerian Navy, has commended the management of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), for its commitment to transparency in the execution of the Integrated National Security and Waterways protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue Project.

This commendation was made by the Chairman, of the Committee, Yusuf Gagdi, when NIMASA, Director General, Dr.  Bashir Jamoh, appeared before the House Committee on Navy, currently investigating, the Deep Blue Contract, awarded to,  HLS International Limited, by the federal government.

He said, “We in the Committee of the Navy commend your Management team at NIMASA for providing all documents we have requested for.

“It shows that you have nothing to hide. Our desire is to ensure public funds are spent not only in public interest but in accordance with the provisions of the laws of the land,” he said.
A member of the Committee, Hon. Alao Ajala, expressed delight that Nigeria has exited the global Piracy list.
His position was re echoed by most members of the Committee, who also, acknowledged the role, the Nigerian Navy is playing in securing the nation’s territorial waters.

In his presentation to the Committee, Dr Jamoh, said the agency acted in line with approval from the Federal Executive Council (FEC), for the Agency, to fund the Deep Blue Project, at the cost of $195 million with a management fee of 10%, adding that, the funds invested in managing the assets since their deployment were appropriated by the National Assembly.

He further disclosed, that the, Korean Government have identified with the Deep Blue project by donating a Vessel free of charge to Nigeria under the project.

“The Korean Government is delighted at the concept of the deep blue project and Korea has said it will support Nigeria by donating a vessel to increase our fleet under the project.

“The government of Japan has also joined by pledging support via funds”.

Dr Jamoh listed assets acquired by NIMASA for the project to include, 17 Fast Intervention Vessels; two Special mission Vessels; two special mission aircraft; three special mission helicopters; four unmanned aerial vessels and 16 armored vehicles.

The project also has a command and control center known as the C4i center located in NIMASA facility in Lagos and jointly manned by officials from all the arms of the Nigerian armed forces, NIMASA staff and other para-military agencies who are part of the project.

The assets are properties of the Agency manned and operated by the various Military arms of government to enhance security of commercial shipping in the Nigerian maritime domain.

In a related development, Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed that Nigeria has won an international recognition in form of an award, from the African Union, for the concept of the Deep Blue Project.

Speaking on Tuesday, at the investigative hearing on the Deep Blue Contract to HSL International Limited, by the House of Representatives Committee on Navy, the Minister, said, necessary approvals were secured before the implementation of the Deep Blue Project.

He said, “I was to be in Nairobi last week as, the African Union gave us award for the Deep Blue Project project. Now, crime rates on our waters and the region has gone down because, before now, we are number one in the world, but, since we deployed the HLSI project, piracy has gone down drastically.”

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