In a bid to also ensure the security of its members across the country, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has charged the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to deploy the deep blue project to the inland waterways.
The deep blue project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 10.
However, despite the launch of the USD195 million maritime security assets, criminal acts have persisted in the country’s inland waterways though it has reduced in the Gulf of Guinea region. Just last week, gunmen abducted eight persons along the Kula-Abomema River in Rivers State. Five of the eight were members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN).
Speaking on the development, a Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, charged NIMASA to extend the coverage of the deep blue project to the inland waters, considering the incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
He said, “It is appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually. Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secure.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our workers? It shouldn’t be. We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the deep blue project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnappings and all other maritime related crimes.”