The deep blue project fleet of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), according to Director General Bashir Jamoh, would deploy two special mission aircraft to combat oil theft and safeguard the country’s economy.
Speaking at the 16th Maritime Seminar for Judges, which was recently held and was put on by the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Jamoh referred to oil theft, pipeline damage, and illegal refining as illegal acts that could endanger the nation’s economic and environmental well-being.
He stated that the aircrafts from the deep blue project’s mobile assets will assist the current platforms being used by other security agencies, for which NIMASA has an ongoing Memorandum of Understanding.
The NIMASA DG explained that the aircrafts would assist in patrolling oil facilities, installations and other assets to observe suspicious human and vessel movements in and around the facilities
Jamoh, while restating the agency’s commitment to a crime free and secure maritime domain, reminded participants at the seminar of President Muhammadu Buhari’s interest in rebuilding stakeholders and investors’ confidence in the country’s maritime sector.
He said the approval of the President for procurement of the assets, his coming to commission them in Lagos and their deployment for security duties have contributed immensely to the fight against maritime crimes.
According to him, “We shall be deploying our 2 special mission aircrafts for aerial surveillance to prevent and fight oil theft in the country. With this, we aim at using the aircrafts to patrol sensitive areas, record suspicious human and vessel movements to process intelligence for timely action by our security agencies.
“The oil industry is critical to our national economy and no space of the sector should be left for criminals to occupy or operate. We have recorded gains in our maritime security efforts and more needs to be done to sustain and consolidate on these gains.
“Our collaborations with security agencies which we have MoUs with is, among other reasons, to collaborate and work ahead of criminal elements. I am happy to state that our synergies have been beneficial to the country in many ways,” Jamoh said.