Nigeria has signed an exchange of notes worth $2.78 million with the Japanese government for an economic and social development programme involving the acquisition of high-speed boats to reinforce services for coastal security in Nigeria.
The agreement has the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) as the implementing partner.
The Minister of State Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba signed on behalf of Nigeria, while the Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary of Japan to Nigeria, His Excellency Kazuyoshi Matsunaga signed on behalf of the Japanese Government, with the Director General of NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh in attendance.
Agba noted that the procurement of the High Speed Boat worth $2.78m, will greatly enhance the operations of the Deep Blue project.
He commended the Japanese government for their interest and interventions in Nigeria for economic development.
He said, “This High-Speed Boat is a welcome addition in 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 2 special Mission Vessels; 2 Special Mission Aircrafts; 3 Special Mission Helicopters; 10 Unmanned Air Systems and vehicles; 17 fast moving interceptor boats; 16 armoured vehicles and the C4i centre.”
Ambassador Matsunaga Kazuyoshi explained that the project is to support the measures adopted by the Nigerian Government to deal with the threat of the blue economy, prevent and suppress piracy, armed robbery, and any other unlawful act against ships in Nigerian waters.
The Ambassador said “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.”
“Economic and Social Development is one of the guiding principles of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development.
“The people and Government of Japan hope this project will enable NIMASA reinforce their operations and services for coastal security in Nigeria, strengthen Nigeria’s counter piracy efforts and prove useful for the security of the Gulf of Guinea.”