As a departure from the country’s ugly norm of ill-maintenance of national treasures, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has given assurance that all the Deep Blue Project assets will be properly taken care of.
The Director General of the Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, gave the assurance at the graduation ceremony of pilots and other air assets’ trainees under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure.
He said that assets under the Deep Blue Project would be given the necessary attention in order to maintain them to serve their purpose of providing security for Nigerian waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
Recall that the key components of the Deep Blue Projects are air, maritime, and land assets; Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence (C4i) Operation Centre; and the training programme.
The assets include helicopters, interceptor boats, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, Special Mission Aircraft, Special Mission Vessels, and armoured vehicles, which are operated by a standby intervention team, and linked to the C4i Centre. The centre is also integrated with the Maritime Intelligence System and the Nigerian Navy’s Falcon Eye for real time monitoring and reporting of activities within the country’s maritime space.
R-L: Representative of the Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Gwani; Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Hon. Aiyedatiwa; Director General, NIMASA, Jamoh; and Country Director, HLSI Nigeria, Tal Spekto, inspecting one of the Aerial Assets during the graduation ceremony of air assets trainees of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure also known as the Deep Blue project at the Air Force Base Hanger 301, Heavy Lift Group, Ikeja, … recently.
At the graduation ceremony, 43 officers and men of the Nigerian Air force received certificates for specialized training as pilots and copilots for the Special Mission Aircraft, special Mission Specific Equipment Operators, Special Mission Aircraft Maintenance Technicians, operators for the Unmanned Aerial Systems, and C4i operators for effective platform manning.
The NIMASA boss said the graduation of the air assets crew was another significant leg of the Deep Blue Project, which he described as “our grand intervention in the area of our nation’s maritime security.”
Speaking further, he appreciated the Nigerian Airforce for their commitment to the Project with particular reference to providing facilities for in country training of the pilots and others to complete the training module having successfully completed the technical component abroad.
Jamoh added that the challenge was not about deploying the assets but about its maintenance and sustaining the tempo of the project so that it could outlive the present generations and continue to be of benefit to future generations.
He thus reiterated the Agency’s commitment to effective management of the assets.
He noted that the progress made so far was encouraging, adding that intelligence gathering within the maritime domain had reached new heights with recent video evidence of improper ballast water discharge in the nation’s waters.
“This Project as you are aware is the first of this kind and we are doing so many things for the first time as a civilian Agency of government working with the Armed Forces. Our commitment is unflinching”, the NIMASA helmsman said.
The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, observed that the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project, had “strategically repositioned the Nigerian Air Force to effectively support NIMASA to provide an investment-friendly environment through provision of adequate security.”
Air Marshal Amao, who was represented by the Chief of Training and Operations of the Airforce, Air Vice Marshal JMD Gwani, commended the Management of NIMASA for her commitment to seeing through the successful implementation of the Deep Blue Project.
“I must say that the graduation of these Nigerian Air Force personnel today, who will be operating alongside personnel from sister security agencies, resonates with the CAS’ vision to ‘enhance and sustain airpower capabilities required for joint force employment in pursuit of national imperatives’.
“I am glad to note that all these have strategically repositioned the Nigerian Air Force to effectively support NIMASA to provide an investment-friendly maritime environment through provision of adequate security”, he said.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Honorable Lucky Aiyedatiwa, commended the synergy between NIMASA and the Nigerian Armed forces to secure the nation’s territorial waters.