Deep blue project: Nigeria, Japan sign $2.78m boat deal

Deep blue project: Nigeria, Japan sign $2.78m boat deal
L-R: Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Kazuyoshi Matsunaga; Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh and Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, during the signing of an exchange of note between Nigeria and Japan for the acquisition of a $2.78 million high speed boat in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nigeria has signed an exchange of note with Japan for an economic and social development programme involving the acquisition of a high-speed boat to reinforce services for coastal security in Nigeria. 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) was designated the implementing agency of the partnership. 

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, reportedly signed the partnership agreement on behalf of Nigeria while the Ambassador of Japan to Nigeria, Kazuyoshi Matsunaga signed on behalf of his country.

Agba noted that the procurement of the high-speed boat worth $2.78 million, will enhance operations of the deep blue project, which is domiciled in NIMASA.

“This project to strengthen the operations of NIMASA 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 emergency improvement of electricity supply facilities in Abuja, and the role Japan played in the development of the national power development masterplan designed to guide the government on the optimal energy mix and efficiency for Nigeria,” he said. 

The Director-General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh assured the Japanese government that the agency would ensure the sustainability of the success recorded in the war against piracy in Nigerian waters and the Gulf of Guinea.

He said, “This high-speed boat is a welcome addition to our growing arsenal of platforms and assets to reinforce service for coastal security, not only in Nigeria but also in the Gulf of Guinea, as over 60% of shipping activities in the region pass through Nigerian waters. 

“This vessel will be incorporated into the deep blue project which already has two special mission vessels, two special mission aircraft, three special mission helicopters, 10 unmanned air systems and vehicles, 17 fast-moving interceptor boats, 16 armoured vehicles and the C4i centre.”

Also speaking, Kazuyoshi noted the project is to support the measures adopted by Nigeria to deal with the threat of maritime crimes. 

“In the Gulf of Guinea, as you know, the piracy problem is hindering the economic development of the coastal areas. A slowdown in economic development impoverishes the coastal population, forcing some of them into piracy for their livelihood. We need to break this vicious cycle,” he said.

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