By Steve Agbota
The The Federal Republic of Nigeria has signed an Exchange of Notes (E/N) with the Government of Japan for an economic and social development program involving the acquisition of high-speed vessels to strengthen coastal security services in Nigeria, with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, (NIMASA), as an implementing partner.
Federal Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, signed on behalf of Nigeria, while Japan’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Nigeria, Kazuyoshi Matsunaga, signed on behalf of the Japanese government, with NIMASA Managing Director Dr. Bashir Jamoh present.
Prince Agba noted that the purchase of the high-speed vessels worth $2.78 million would significantly improve the operations of the Deep Blue project. He commended the Japanese government for its interest and interventions in Nigeria for economic development. “This NIMASA Operations Enhancement Project will definitely strengthen the partnership between the Government of Japan and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“Nigeria also appreciates the recent exchange of notes we signed for the emergency upgrade of electricity supply facilities in Abuja, and the role Japan has played in developing the national development master plan for energy designed to guide the government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for Nigeria,” the minister said.
For his part, NIMASA Director General Dr. Bashir Jamoh assured the Japanese government that the Agency working with relevant stakeholders will ensure the sustainability of the recent success in the war against piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf. from Guinea. “This high-speed vessel is a welcome addition to our growing arsenal of rigs and assets to bolster coastal security service, not only in Nigeria but also in the Gulf of Guinea, as over 60% of maritime activity in the region pass through Nigerian waters.
“This ship will be integrated into the Deep Blue project which already has 2 special mission ships; 2 special mission aircraft; 3 special mission helicopters; 10 unmanned aerial systems and vehicles; 17 fast interceptor boats; 16 armored vehicles and the C4i center,” he said.
Ambassador Matsunaga Kazuyoshi noted that the project aims to support the measures adopted by the Nigerian government to address the threat of the blue economy, to prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery and any other illegal acts against ships in Nigerian waters.