Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has reiterated that assets under the Deep Blue Project will be given necessary attention in order to maintain them to serve their purpose of providing security for Nigerian waters and the entire Gulf of Guinea.
Dr Jamoh spoke in Lagos during the graduation ceremony of pilots and other air assets trainees under the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure.
Forty three 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 Director General 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.
He added that the challenge is not about deploying the assets but about its maintenance and sustaining the tempo of the project so that it can outlive the present generations and continue to be of benefit to future generations. The NIMASA DG thus reiterated the agency’s commitment to effective management of the assets.
Dr Jamoh noted that the progress made so far is encouraging, adding that intelligence gathering within the maritime domain has 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,” he said.
Also speaking at the event, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao, said that the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project has 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.
In his words, “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”.
On his part, the Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa commended the synergy between NIMASA and the Nigerian armed forces to secure the nation’s territorial waters.