- The federal government is making progress in securing Nigerian waters
- Under the Deep Blue Project, the government has acquired state-of-the-art military equipment to protect the country's waters
- Tolu Ogunlesi, special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on digital and new media, shares an insight into the project
The Deep Blue Project, a federal government initiative championed by the ministry of transportation has officially taken off.
The project is being implemented by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency with the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Navy.
Legit.ng gathered that the project is one of the multiple efforts by the federal government to improve the security of Nigeria’s maritime environment.
Tolu Ogunlesi, a presidential media aide, has been providing updates on the project and the arrival of military assets under the project, via his Twitter page on Friday, May 14.
According to Ogunlesi, the military equipment which are already in Nigeria, are:
1. 16 armoured vehicles for coastal patrol
2. Two (2) special mission aircraft for surveillance
3. Three (3) special mission helicopters for search and rescue
4. Four (4) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
5. Two (2) Special Mission Vessels
6. 17 Fast Interceptor Boats
Ogunlesi adds that the 17 Interceptor Boats are DHM1050s from South African company, De Haas.
“10.45 metre long & fitted with triple 300 hp Yamaha outboard motors, giving a top speed of nearly 60 knots & a payload of 2,000 kg. They are fitted with 10 passenger seats in front of pilot’s station.”
7. A 24/7 Command, Control, Communication, Computer, and Intelligence Centre (c4i) in Lagos, for intelligence gathering and data collection.
8. 600 specially-trained personnel — the Maritime Security Unit.
Meanwhile, as Nigeria continues to battle insecurity in various parts of the country, the Nigerian Army has said that it will collaborate with its counterparts in the Niger Republic to track fleeing bandits and rescue the worshippers abducted at a Mosque in Katsina state.
The bandits had on Monday, May 10 abducted 45 worshippers, but the police said 35 of the victims were recovered while 10 were still with the bandits.
A statement signed by army spokesman, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima and seen by Legit.ng, said the army was collaborating with the Niger Republic military to track the kidnappers, with a view to rescuing the victims.
Legit.ng had earlier reported that the bandits abducted worshippers while they were observing Tahajjud, a kind of midnight prayer.
Residents of the town said dozens of gunmen invaded the mosque around 2am and took away the worshippers.
The bandits initially picked 47 congregants, including women and children, but seven later escaped and returned.