…Govt determined to sustain Deep Blue Project—Minister
…War risk insurance partly responsible for high cost of goods in Nigeria–Jamoh
The Federal Government has expressed its determination to ensure the sustenance and continuous implementation of the Deep Blue Project, saying over a year the implementation of the project was started by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) no pirate attack has successfully taken place in Nigeria’s territorial waters.
This came as the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR has disclosed that since inception of the deep blue project, Nigeria has maintained a zero pirate attack, adding that the two recent pirate incidents on the Nigerian waters were unsuccessful.
He therefore called on the Lloyd’s of London and other major insurance firms in the world to stop the collection of the War Risk Insurance premium from Nigerian bound cargoes, saying what Nigeria has done to stamp out piracy on its territorial waters and the Gulf of Guinea makes makes the country deserving of the international insurance companies consideration of a removal of the war risk insurance from vessels and good destined for Nigeria.
He vows to continue the campaign until he gets a listening ear from the global institutions concerned, saying Nigeria has recently been delisted by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) from the list of countries in the world that are dangerous for sea borne trade.
Dr Jamoh further disclosed that the imposition of the war risk insurance on all Nigerian bound cargoes was a deadly blow on the economy as its negative impact on cost of goods is felt by all sundry.
“Nigeria is an import dependent country, it is either what we consume is imported or the materials for making them are imported, therefore such insurance premium which is a penalty for the insecurity we then had on our waters; translated into high cost of goods in the market.
“I believe that once it is removed, though it is mostly difficult for anything that goes up to come down in Nigeria; but in this case, competition will definitely force the price of goods down. So, the international community will be reciprocating the achievement Nigeria has recorded in the fight against piracy using the innovative deep blue project. That is the message I am taking to the world,” Jamoh said.
In his address at the graduation ceremony of the maritime security unit third batch technicians and mechanics of the MSU and UVAs Armoured Personnel Carriers held at the weekend in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Minister of Transportation Engr. Muazu Jaji Sambo affirmed the satisfaction of the Federal Government with the highly improved state of security in the Nigerian territorial waters since the commencement of the implementation of the deep blue project, assuring that the government will sustain the programme.
The Minister said that the conclusion of the course by the 126 personnel of the 3rd batch, consisting of 94 maritime security units, 22 UAVs, 10 armoured mechanics and technicians; will bring to a total of 337 graduates including 24 foreign trained pilots in the human component of the deep blue project.
He said: “An intelligence mapping of the activities of pirates and sea criminals revealed that most pirates and sea robbery attacks are planned on land, executed on land and the proceeds are also taken to the land.
“Therefore, the activities of the maritime security unit, especially their logistics which is made possible by the armoured personnel carriers’ technicians are very critical and indispensable in the entire deep blue architecture due to their role in dismantling the operational structures of these criminals,” Engr. Sambo said.
He praised the graduants for enduring the rigorous, saying all parties to this project are sincerely working hard to give it a good start. “This project, as you are aware, is the first of its kind and we are doing so many things for the first time as a civilian government agency working with military agencies.
“I wish to commend you for your endurance during the rigorous training activities and for the gallantry you have displayed from inception leading to your graduation and certification today in your respective areas of specialization.
“To the graduating personnel, as you will be subsequently deployed to various operational locations, I charge you to maintain a very high spirit in the discharge of your duties. On our part, we shall not drop our poise in ensuring all your welfare issues are expeditiously addressed,” the Minister assured..