Nigerian Senate Wants Deep Blue Sea Project Fast-Tracked To Fight Piracy

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The Nigerian Senate has called on the country’s maritime agency, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to quickly fast-track the implementation of the Deep Blue Sea Project for the protection of Nigeria’s water ways to combat the menace of pirates and armed bandits.

The lawmakers, yesterday at plenary also urged the Nigerian government to deploy more naval personnel on the Oron coastal area to check the activities of pirates and bandits. They asked the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure prompt prosecution of arrested pirates and bandits to serve as deterrence.

This resolution was sequel to a motion titled “urgent need to address the menace of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea and Nigeria’s internal waters.” The senator representing Akwa Ibom South, Senator Akon Etim Eyakenye, who sponsored the motion commended the Navy and NIMASA for their efforts in the reduction of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea, which forced the criminals to move further inward to terrorize residents in Oron coastal area.

“Despite the efforts of the Navy, piracy and banditry is now common in Nigeria’s international waters especially along the Oron coastal area making the waters perilous for fishermen, traders and transporters. The menace of pirates and bandits who have made the creeks of Akwa-Ibom their habitation has led to untold story of woes, hardship, kidnap and deaths among the communities and crippled the economy of the area.”

NIMASA initiated operation Deep Blue Sea Project aimed to combat privacy and banditry by establishing a permanent Marine Police. The project has remained at the planning stage with no law establishing it. However, NIMASA is said to have relied on secondment of personnel from the Navy and other services.Senator Eyakenye stated that only the full implementation of Deep Blue Sea Project would curb the menace of piracy and banditry in the Gulf of Guinea.

Chibisi Ohakah

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