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NIMASA unveils special mission vessels to fight piracy

To eliminate embarrassment caused by  piracy on Nigeria’s waterways, the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has unveiled two Special Mission Vessels, DB Lagos and DB Abuja.

The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr Dakuku Peterside, made this known in Lagos .

Peterside represented by Mr Rotimi Fashakin, Executive Director, Operations, NIMASA, said that the arrival of the vessels  demonstrated the determination of the Federal Government to restore Nigeria to tackle piracy.

“Today’s event brings us to near crescendo in ensuring that we sniff out any form of criminality on our waterways and to bring about absolute tranquility in the nation’s water corridors.

“We are here to change the narrative, and these vessels will eventually be the game changers for us as a nation,” he said.

In his presentation, Mr Anthony Ogadi, Head, Shipping Development and Co-ordinator of NIMASA In-house monitoring team of the Deep Blue Project, said that the arrival of the vessels was historic  for NIMASA, the government and Nigerians.

“The special mission vessels are critical assets of the Deep Blue Project and have intervention platforms which include land, air and maritime assets.

“The maritime assets include, Special Mission Vessel 1, Special Mission Vessel 2, 17 fast Interceptor boats, five inflatable training boatd and two spares.

“The air assets include two special mission aircrafts, three jelicopters and four unmanned aerial vehicles, while the land assets include 16 armoured vehicles,” he said.

He said that, of the above assets, NIMASA was in receipt of Special Mission Vessel 1 – DB Abuja – and   Special Mission Vessel 2 –  DB Lagos –  which just arrived, and 10 fast interceptor boats which had also arrived.

He said that the remaining seven fast interceptor boats were expected before the end of 2020, adding that each of the boats had combined engine capacity of 9OOHP and could do up to 55hnots.

He said that six armoured vehicles for land intervention troops had also arrived and the remaining ten expected in some  weeks and months.

Ogadi said that the pre-shipments inspection of the special mission aircraft, helicopters and the unmanned aerial vehicle would be due this month end.

“The arrival of these assets especially the special mission vessels further attests to the commitment of the agency and the Federal Government to curbing insecurity on Nigerian waters.

“Today marks a new dawn for a more secure and stable maritime environment in Nigeria.

“In effect, this milestone in assets delivery inches us closer to full operational take-off of the Deep Project; hence, it marks a huge victory for the Nigerian maritime sector in the fight against maritime insecurity,” he said.

He welcomed the captains and the entire crew of DB Lagos and DB Abuja for successfully sailing the vessels to Nigeria.

“We are aware that sailors usually face very severe conditions at sea but you have endured all of them  to bring in these precious assets; we salute your bravery,” he said.

Rear Admiral Murtala Bashir, who represented the Chief of Naval Staff, said that the two vessels would add value to the fight against piracy and other maritime crimes on Nigerian waters.

He urged those to man the vessel to handle them with utmost care to ensure realisation of the purpose.

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